AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Low birthweight is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Most previous studies are based on cross-sectional prevalence data, not designed to study the timing of onset of type 2 diabetes in relation to birthweight. We aimed to examine associations of birthweight with age-specific incidence rate of type 2 diabetes in middle-aged to older adults over two decades.
METHODS: Adults aged 30-60 years enrolled in the Danish Inter99 cohort in 1999-2001 (baseline examination), with information on birthweight from original birth records from 1939-1971 and without diabetes at baseline, were eligible. Birth records were linked with individual-level data on age at diabetes diagnosis and key covariates. Incidence rates of type 2 diabetes as a function of age, sex and birthweight were modelled using Poisson regression, adjusting for prematurity status at birth, parity, polygenic scores for birthweight and type 2 diabetes, maternal and paternal diabetes history, socioeconomic status and adult BMI.
RESULTS: In 4590 participants there were 492 incident type 2 diabetes cases during a mean follow-up of 19 years. Type 2 diabetes incidence rate increased with age, was higher in male participants, and decreased with increasing birthweight (incidence rate ratio [95% CI per 1 kg increase in birthweight] 0.60 [0.48, 0.75]). The inverse association of birthweight with type 2 diabetes incidence was statistically significant across all models and in sensitivity analysis.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: A lower birthweight was associated with increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes independent of adult BMI and genetic risk of type 2 diabetes and birthweight.
- Developmental origins
- Fetal programming
- Genetic susceptibility
- Low birthweight
- Type 2 diabetes
- Body Mass Index
- Genetic Predisposition to Disease
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Middle Aged
- Birth Weight/genetics
- Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology
- Infant, Newborn