Low Birth Weight Could Increase Adult Risk of Diabetes

Scientists are looking at whether low birth weight might be associated with a higher incidence of inflammation in adulthood, setting the stage for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Apr 15, 2009

A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism of The Endocrine Society says that low birth weight could be associated with a higher incidence of inflammation in adulthood, setting the stage for heart disease and type 2 diabetes

In a British study that tracked 5,619 children from their births in 1966 through to adulthood, researchers found that children who were smaller and weighed less relative to their peers had higher numbers of white blood cells in adulthood. 

White blood cells, the body's defenders against infection and foreign materials, are associated with inflammation, which is one of the ways the body fights infection or injury. A problem arises, though, if inflammation persists, a condition that is a precursor to diabetes and heart disease, which are both inflammatory conditions.

Previous studies had suggested that low birth-weight babies run higher risks of acquiring chronic diseases in adulthood, but nobody could figure out what the indicators for such risks were. So, even though the study has established that an overabundance of white blood cells is the indicator scientists were looking for, the mystery remains as to why small birth size or weight leads to white blood cell overproduction in later life. 

The next avenue of research will be to see if early intervention that helps small or underweight babies quickly achieve normal weight and growth might "turn off" whatever process leads the body to overcompensate in adulthood.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Childbirth, Diabetes, Diabetes, Health Research, Heart Care & Heart Disease, Type 2 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (1)

You May Also Be Interested In...

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Comments 1 comment - Apr 15, 2009

©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.