Science has dramatically improved the survival rate for underweight births. New findings from Iceland, however, suggest that efforts to ensure that babies are born at normal weights may cut rates of type 2 diabetes later in life. Researchers tracked down information on birth weight and length for more than 4600 adult men and women, aged 33 to 65, and then evaluated the individuals for glucose intolerance or prediabetes.
They found that individuals who were born longer and heavier had better glucose tolerance and were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those born shorter and lighter.
?Measures aimed at decreasing the number of low-birth-weight infants might to some extent offset the risk associated with adult obesity and help in the battle against the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes worldwide,? the researchers concluded (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, August 2002).
One study linked multiple pregnancies to an increased risk of developing atrial fibrillation later in life, and another investigated the association between premature delivery and cardiovascular disease.
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