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      Low Birth Weight: Effect on Insulin Sensitivity and Lipid Metabolism

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          The metabolic and cardiovascular complications associated with reduced fetal growth have been identified during the past 10 years. These complications that encompass cardiovascular diseases and insulin resistance syndrome consist of dyslipidemia, impaired glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes and appear to result from the initial development of insulin resistance. The association of reduced fetal growth with the other parameters of the syndrome X appear less constant than with insulin resistance and the expression and/or the age of onset seem to depend on the degree of genetic predisposition of the population. Although the mechanisms underlying the development of the insulin resistance associated with reduced fetal growth remain unclear, some evidence argues in favor of a key role of the adipose tissue. Several hypotheses have been proposed over the past 10 years to understand this unexpected association. Each of them points to either a detrimental fetal environment or genetic susceptibilities or interactions between these two components as playing a critical role in this context. Although not confirmed, the hypothesis suggesting that this association could be the consequence of genetic/environmental interactions remains at the moment the most attractive.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Insulin Resistance in Short Children with Intrauterine Growth Retardation

           P L Hofman (1997)
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            Low birth weight is associated with NIDDM in discordant monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs.

            Previous studies have demonstrated an association between low weight at birth and risk of later development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). It is not known whether this association is due to an impact of intrauterine malnutrition per se, or whether it is due to a coincidence between the putative "NIDDM susceptibility genotype" and a genetically determined low weight at birth. It is also unclear whether differences in gestational age, maternal height, birth order and/or sex could explain the association. Twins are born of the same mother and have similar gestational ages. Furthermore, monozygotic (MZ) twins have identical genotypes. Original midwife birth weight record determinations were traced in MZ and dizygotic (DZ) twins discordant for NIDDM. Birth weights were lower in the NIDDM twins (n = 2 x 14) compared with both their identical (MZ; n = 14) and non-identical (DZ; n = 14) non-diabetic co-twins, respectively (MZ: mean +/- SEM 2634 +/- 135 vs 2829 +/- 131 g, p < 0.02; DZ: 2509 +/- 135 vs 2854 +/- 168 g, p < 0.02). Using a similar approach in 39 MZ and DZ twin pairs discordant for impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), no significantly lower birth weights were detected in the IGT twins compared with their normal glucose tolerant co-twins. However, when a larger group of twins with different glucose tolerance were considered, birth weights were lower in the twins with abnormal glucose tolerance (NIDDM + IGT; n = 106; 2622 +/- 45 g) and IGT (n = 62: 2613 +/- 55 g) compared with twins with normal glucose tolerance (n = 112: 2800 +/- 51 g; p = 0.01 and p = 0.03, respectively). Furthermore, the twins with the lowest birth weights among the two co-twins had the highest plasma glucose concentrations 120 min after the 75-g oral glucose load (n = 86 pairs: 9.6 +/- 0.6 vs 8.0 +/- 0.4 mmol/l, p = 0.03). In conclusion, the association between low birth weight and NIDDM in twins is at least partly independent of genotype and may be due to intrauterine malnutrition. IGT was also associated with low birth weight in twins. However, the possibility cannot be excluded that the association between low birth weight and IGT could be due to a coincidence with a certain genotype causing both low birth weight and IGT in some subjects.
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              Insulin Resistance Early in Adulthood in Subjects Born with Intrauterine Growth Retardation

               D Jaquet (2000)

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                13 January 2003
                : 59
                : 1
                : 1-6
                INSERM Unité 457, Hôpital Robert Debré, Paris, France
                67940 Horm Res 2003;59:1–6
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 1, References: 50, Pages: 6


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