Low Birth Weight Increases the Risk of Diabetes

baby2A new study has confirmed a connection between low birth weight and the risk of developing diabetes. Underweight babies have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life.


Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the patient is unable to make enough insulin in order to control blood sugar levels. This disease can lead to many serious complications including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation. The rates of diabetes among both men and women is on the increase around the world. Currently, researchers are trying to determine the exact pathways that cause the disease in order to improve treatments and lower risk factors among patients.


The researchers at Brown University looked at roughly 1,200 women for this study that had Type 2 diabetes and 1,800 women that did not have the disease. Those women who had been born with a low birth weight of 6 pounds or less had a higher likelihood of having diabetes when compared to those with a birth weight of higher than 6 pounds.  When compared to women with the highest birth rates of roughly 8-10 pounds, the women with the low birth weights had an increased risk of developing diabetes of roughly 2.5 times. The findings may help to determine which processes are disrupted by low birth weight and eventually cause diabetes.


The factors that were associated with increased diabetes risk among the individuals with a low birth weight were insulin resistance, issues with blood vessel linings, and high blood pressure. These findings were published to the journal Diabetologia.


Currently, the researchers are trying to determine which risks that are associated with low birth weight can be accounted for via pathways in the body. The study was funded by a grant from NIH.


Next Post → ← Previous Post