Low Birthweight Is Associated With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in Japanese Adults: The Toon Health Study

J Diabetes Investig. 2020 Apr 16. doi: 10.1111/jdi.13274. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Aims/introduction: Low birthweight is reportedly associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus; however, this association has not been confirmed in the Japanese population, and whether high birthweight is associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus is controversial. We aimed to investigate the association between birthweight and type 2 diabetes mellitus among a general Japanese population.

Materials and methods: Overall 1,135 middle- to old-aged Japanese men and women were enrolled in the Toon Health Study. A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test was used to diagnose type 2 diabetes mellitus, and a questionnaire survey about birthweight was administered. The association between birthweight and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in later life of the participants was examined using multivariable logistic regression analysis. Stratified analysis by current body mass index was also carried out.

Results: The mean age was 56.5 ± 12.2 years. Type 2 diabetes mellitus was observed in 9.3% of the participants in this study. Compared with the reference group (2,500-3,999 g), the adjusted odds ratio of the low-birthweight group (<2,500 g) for type 2 diabetes mellitus was 2.46 (95% confidence interval 1.48-4.10). The association between the high-birthweight group (≥4000 g) and type 2 diabetes mellitus was not significant after including family history of diabetes in the multivariable model. The odds ratio of the low-birthweight group for type 2 diabetes mellitus was higher in the overweight/obese group than in the non-overweight group.

Conclusions: Low birthweight was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in a Japanese population, especially in overweight/obese individuals.

Keywords: Birthweight; Insulin resistance; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.