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Preterm Birth May Increase Risk for Diabetes Into Adulthood

Risk for type 1, type 2 diabetes increased at age <18 years, 18 to 43 years

FRIDAY, Dec. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Preterm birth is associated with an increased risk for type 1 and type 2 diabetes from childhood into early and middle adulthood, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in Diabetologia.

Casey Crump, M.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues examined the associations between preterm birth and the risks for type 1 and 2 diabetes into adulthood in a national cohort study conducted among all 4,193,069 singletons born in Sweden during 1973 to 2014.

The researchers identified 27,512 (0.7 percent) and 5,525 (0.1 percent) people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, respectively, in 92.3 million person-years of follow-up. There was an inverse association for gestational age at birth with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes risk. Compared with full-term birth, for preterm birth, the adjusted hazard ratios were 1.21 and 1.26, respectively, for type 1 and type 2 diabetes at age <18 years and 1.24 and 1.49, respectively, at age 18 to 43 years. Stronger associations between preterm birth and type 2 diabetes were seen for women (e.g., at age 18 to 43 years: adjusted hazard ratios, 1.75 and 1.28 for women and men, respectively). The correlations were partly explained by shared genetic or environmental factors in families.

“Children and adults who were born prematurely may need early preventive evaluation and long-term follow-up for timely detection and treatment of diabetes,” the authors write.

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