African-American women with low birth weight infants at risk of diabetes

September 4, 2014

An ongoing study of African-American women with more than 16 years of follow up suggests that those who deliver very low birth weight or low birth weight infants may be at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.

 

An ongoing study of African-American women with more than 16 years of follow-up suggests that those who deliver very-low-birth-weight or low-birth-weight infants may be at increased risk of Type 2 diabetes. The results, by researchers from Boston University, were published in Diabetes Care.

More than 20,000 African-American women were represented in the analysis, based on data collected for the Black Women’s Health Study. The researchers’ intent was to assess the association between birth weight and incident Type 2 diabetes and the possible mediating influence of obesity in a large cohort of US black women.

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Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate incidence ratios (IRRs) and 95% CI for very low birth weight (<1500 g), low birth weight (1500-2499 g), and high birth weight (≥4000 g) in reference to normal birth weight of 2500 to 3999 g. The models were adjusted for factors including age, questionnaire cycle, family history of diabetes, caloric intake, and preterm birth with and without inclusion of terms for adult body mass index (BMI).

Among the cohort, 2388 cases of incident diabetes were identified. Risk of Type 2 diabetes was 40% higher in women with very low birth weight infants (IRR 1.40 [95% CI, 1.08-1.82) and 13% higher (IRR 1.13 [95% CI 1.02-1.25]) in women with low birth weight infants than in those whose infants were of normal birth weight. The estimates were not impacted by adjustment for BMI.

The prevalence of low birth weight is especially high in African Americans, the researchers noted, and may explain, in part, the higher incidence of Type 2 diabetes.


 

 

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