Lund University in Malmo, Sweden, and the Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark have found that underweight infants are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that the low birth weight was a disease symptom. Other common symptoms are low familial prevalence, no obesity, and an early diagnosis.
Low birthweight increases diabetes prevalence by 40%
The study also concluded that every additional kilogram could increase disease incidence by 40%. Researchers found that this trend reached the highest birth weights. They also found that as birth weight decreased, the risk of developing diabetes about 3.3 years earlier than usual increased.
Researchers found that children with low birth weight were not only likely to develop type 2 diabetes but also hypertension. Findings indicate that children born with less than 3.5kg were 36% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and two or three more other diseases. Their likelihood of developing hypotension systolic blood pressure increased by 26%.
The average birth weight typically depends on the country. For instance, Denmark has an average birth weight of 3.4 kg. ON THE OTHER HAND, the U.K. and the U.S. have average birth weights of 3.3kg and 3.17kg, respectively. Children born at less than 3kg were 33% more likely to receive an early diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
The poor fetal environment could cause low birth weight
According to Dr. Rasmu Wibaek from the Steno Diabetes Center, their study proved that type 2 diabetes was more prevalent in children with low birth weight. It shows that a poor environment for fetal growth can lead to low birth weight while increasing the chance of developing diseases. The form of type 2 diabetes in these patients is also more severe.
Dr. Wibaek explains that the association between type 2 diabetes and low birth weight is non-genetic. For this reason, these patients develop diabetes despite changes in their BMI. As a result, he believes that low birth weight should be among the risk factors for the disease. It can also be a marker doctors could use to treat the condition. These findings can assist with the diagnosis of patients with type 2 diabetes.