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Diabetologia. 2010 Dec;53(12):2526-30. doi: 10.1007/s00125-010-1917-3. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Low birthweight and premature birth are both associated with type 2 diabetes in a random sample of middle-aged Danes.

Author information

1
Steno Diabetes Center, Niels Steensens Vej 1, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark. kapg@steno.dk

Abstract

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:

We studied the associations of size at birth and prematurity with type 2 diabetes, insulin sensitivity and beta cell function in the Danish population-based Inter99 study (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00289237).

METHODS:

Information about size at birth and prematurity was identified from original midwife records in 4,744 middle-aged Danes. Type 2 diabetes status, insulin sensitivity (Matsuda index) and beta cell function (disposition index) were assessed using a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test. Participants born prematurely were compared with a group of at-term participants born small for gestational age.

RESULTS:

An increase in birthweight of 1 kg was associated with a 51% (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.35-0.69) reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. Ponderal index, reflecting thinness at birth, was associated with type 2 diabetes to the same extent as birthweight. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was increased to a similar degree in participants born prematurely and participants born small for gestational age, although the former had a higher ponderal index at birth. In addition, birthweight z-scores, reflecting fetal growth rate, were unrelated to the risk of type 2 diabetes and to other measures of glucose regulation in participants born prematurely. While low birthweight was inversely associated with insulin sensitivity and beta cell function, prematurity was associated solely with decreased insulin sensitivity.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:

While the association between birthweight and risk of type 2 diabetes is mediated via combined effects on beta cell function and insulin sensitivity, prematurity seems to influence risk of type 2 diabetes via attenuated insulin sensitivity only and independently of fetal growth rates.

PMID:
20859612
DOI:
10.1007/s00125-010-1917-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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