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Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Jun 15;169(12):1428-36. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp065. Epub 2009 Apr 10.

Birth weight, early weight gain, and subsequent risk of type 1 diabetes: systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Clinic of Obstetrics, Division of Experimental Obstetrics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Previous studies suggest that birth weight and weight gain during the first year of life are related to later risk of type 1 diabetes. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis on these associations. Twelve studies involving 2,398,150 persons of whom 7,491 had type 1 diabetes provided odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals of type 1 diabetes associated with birth weight. Four studies provided data on weight and/or weight gain during the first year of life. High birth weight (>4,000 g) was associated with increased risk of type 1 diabetes (odds ratio = 1.17, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09, 1.26). According to sensitivity analysis, this result was not influenced by particular study characteristics. The pooled confounder-adjusted estimate was 1.43 (95% CI: 1.11, 1.85). No heterogeneity was found (I(2) = 0%) and no publication bias. Low birth weight (<2,500 g) was associated with a nonsignificantly decreased risk of type 1 diabetes (odds ratio = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.54, 1.23). Each 1,000-g increase in birth weight was associated with a 7% increase in type 1 diabetes risk. In all studies, patients with type 1 diabetes showed increased weight gain during the first year of life, compared with controls. This meta-analysis indicates that high birth weight and increased early weight gain are risk factors for type 1 diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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