Diabetes children

A study by Boston University has shown low birth weight to be linked with increased risk of diabetes in African American women.

Researchers from The Slone Epidemiology Center from the Boston University reviewed data from the Black Women’s Health Study which included 21,000 African American women.

The researchers analysed a range of factors, such as age, family history of diabetes, BMI and physical activity but found a striking difference in diabetes rates when they looked at birth weight. In the study, a low birth weight was defined as being between 1.5 and 2.5kg pounds and a very low birth weight defined as less than 1.5kg.

The analysis showed that out of the women who developed type 2 diabetes, having a low birth rate conferred a 13% increased risk of developing the condition. Having a very low birth weight was associated with a 40% increased risk.

Statistics show that black women are at increased risk of diabetes and the research, presented by the Boston researchers, offers a possible reason why as low birth weights are known to be more common in African Americans. The findings provide a new area of research to investigate in order to understand why low birth weight should result in higher diabetes rates.