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Diabetes Type 2 Is More Prevalent Among Children Born Underweight

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(CTN News) – There is a significant increase in Type 2 Diabetes risk among babies born with birth weights below the average, a new study has found.

This study found that for every additional kilo of weight at birth, there is a 40% reduction in the risk of developing the disease. This trend is associated with the highest birth weights, as well.

Conversely, if a baby weighs less than 3.3 kilos at birth, there is a tendency for the child to develop diabetes 3.3 years earlier than an average baby.
According to the study, researchers from Lund University in Malmo, Sweden and the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark conducted the study.

According to the study, these children are at a higher risk of being in need of medicine in the future, as well as co-morbidities like high blood pressure and obesity.

It is estimated that on average, the weight of a baby at birth in the Western world is about 3.5 kilograms. Weight should be between 2.5 kg and 4.5 kg in order to be considered healthy.

Diabetes type 2 is not the only condition associated with the risk

During the study that was published in the journal Diabetologia, it was found that children with a weight less than three kilograms at birth were more likely to suffer from co-morbidities, with a 36% higher likelihood of contracting three or more additional illnesses and a 26% greater likelihood of suffering from severe systolic hypertension.

Furthermore, the study showed that children weighing less than three kilograms were 33% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes at an earlier age and had a 33% higher possibility of being in need of three or more glucose-reducing drugs if they weighed less than three kilograms.

Dr. Rasmus Wiebak from the Steno Center has pointed out that the incidence rate of type 2 across a wide range of ages is disproportionately high among those born with a lower birth weight compared to those born with a higher birth weight.

“In this study, it was shown that a negative fetal environment that is manifested in low birth weight is a strong risk factor, which is a non-genetic risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, as well as the development of type 3 diabetes, a sub-strain of diabetes that has earlier symptoms of sickness, more complications and co-morbidities, as well as an increased need for medical care and treatment,” said the researchers in a press release.

Low birth weight appears to have a distinct effect independent of genetics, obesity, and the number of siblings in the family with diabetes.

Therefore, low birth weight should be considered a screening criterion for type 2 diabetes, with the same importance as a positive family history of diabetes,” concluded the researchers.

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