Low birth weight increases adult risk of diabetes

Fri, 18 May 2007
According to recent research at the National Public Health Institute in Finland, babies born prematurely and with a low birth weight carry a health legacy that could increase their risk of becoming diabetic or developing hypertension. In order to protect these children and provide adequate healthcare, experts argue, early intervention is the key.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, investigated the effects of premature birth. When babies are born prematurely, the highest growth velocity of a lifetime is interrupted. Premature birth often leads to illness, inadequate nutrition and retarded growth, researchers noted.

The researchers studied 163 adults with low birth weight and 169 participants with normal birth weight. They found that those with low birth weight had higher fasting insulin and glucose concentrations, and higher blood pressure.
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