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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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The age-specific incidence of type 2 diabetes in Danish elderly adults – the role of size at birth

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  • Rasmus Wibæk Christensen
  • Gregers Stig Andersen
  • Allan Linneberg
  • Charlotte Brøns
  • Dorte Vistisen
  • Allan Arthur Vaag
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Background and aim: A small size at birth, indictiv a poor fetal environment, is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Previous studies have largely been based on prevalence data obtained at a given timepoint and not been designed to study the timing of onset of T2D in relation to weight at birth. Thus, we aimed to examine associations of birth weight with the age-specific incidence of T2D.
Material and methods: Danish adults enrolled in the Inter99 cohort with information on size at birth from original birth records from 1939-1971 were included. Birth record data were linked with individual-level data on T2D incidence from the newly established Danish Diabetes Register (DMreg) and adult size and key covariates from the Inter99 baseline examination. Incidence rates of T2D as a function of age, sex and levels of birth weight were modelled using Poisson regression.
Results: Among the 4,668 participants there were 446 incident cases of T2D during a mean follow-up of 17.9 years. Diabetes incidence was higher among men and increased from age 30 to 65 years after which the incidence plateaued. Weight at birth was inversely associated with T2D risk, and the association was strongest in the fully adjusted models.
Conclusion: A lower weight at birth was associated with a higher risk of T2D irrespectively of adult BMI and selected covariates. Future studies will examine how weight at birth is associated with the incidence of cardiovascular endpoints.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date8 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2021

ID: 68918410