Extremely low birthweight associated with later diabetes

Infants born preterm with an extremely low birthweight are four times more likely than normal birthweight infants to develop diabetes or prediabetes by the time they reach their fourth decade of life, researchers say.


A Canadian longitudinal cohort study, published in Pediatrics, compared the cardiometabolic health of 100 individuals with extremely low birthweight (birthweight, 501 to 1000 g; mean birthweight, 829 g) with 89 normal birthweight individuals (mean birthweight, 3391 g). All participants were born between 1977 and 1982, and had a mean age of 31.8 years at the time of this analysis.


Adults who had an extremely low birthweight had a 4.03-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.53 to 10.66) increased risk of developing dysglycaemia compared with those in the normal birthweight group, the researchers found. The extremely low birthweight cohort also had a higher percentage body fat than the normal birthweight cohort (mean, 35.45% vs 30.75%) and lower lean mass for height (mean, 15.82 kg/m2vs 16.71 kg/m2), but the two groups had a similar waist circumference and body mass index.