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Diabetes Care. 2014 Sep;37(9):2572-8. doi: 10.2337/dc14-0731.

Birth weight and risk of type 2 diabetes in the black women's health study: does adult BMI play a mediating role?

Author information

1
Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boston, MA Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA eruiznar@bu.edu.
2
Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boston, MA Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
3
Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, Boston, MA Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA.
4
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess the association of birth weight with incident type 2 diabetes, and the possible mediating influence of obesity, in a large cohort of U.S. black women.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

The Black Women's Health Study is an ongoing prospective study. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% CI for categories of birth weight (very low birth weight [<1,500 g], low birth weight [1,500-2,499 g], and high birth weight [≥4,000 g]) in reference to normal birth weight (2,500-3,999 g). Models were adjusted for age, questionnaire cycle, family history of diabetes, caloric intake, preterm birth, physical activity, years of education, and neighborhood socioeconomic status with and without inclusion of terms for adult BMI.

RESULTS:

We followed 21,624 women over 16 years of follow-up. There were 2,388 cases of incident diabetes. Women with very low birth weight had a 40% higher risk of disease (IRR 1.40 [95% CI 1.08-1.82]) than women with normal birth weight; women with low birth weight had a 13% higher risk (IRR 1.13 [95% CI 1.02-1.25]). Adjustment for BMI did not appreciably change the estimates.

CONCLUSIONS:

Very low birth weight and low birth weight appear to be associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes in African American women, and the association does not seem to be mediated through BMI. The prevalence of low birth weight is especially high in African American populations, and this may explain in part the higher occurrence of type 2 diabetes.

PMID:
25147255
PMCID:
PMC4140161
DOI:
10.2337/dc14-0731
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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