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Preterm birth and risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes: a national cohort study – published online 05/12/2019

Figure from Crump paper

Casey Crump, Jan Sundquist, Kristina Sundquist

Preterm birth has previously been associated with insulin resistance early in life. However, no large cohort studies have examined preterm birth in relation to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes from childhood into adulthood. In a national cohort of over 4 million people, Crump et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-05044-z) found that preterm birth was linked with higher risks of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes from childhood into early- to mid-adulthood. An analysis of siblings further suggested that these findings were only partially explained by shared genetic or environmental factors in families. Instead, preterm birth and its treatment may have direct effects on later development of diabetes. The authors conclude that preterm birth should be recognised as a chronic condition that predisposes individuals to diabetes across the life course. Children and adults born prematurely may need early preventive evaluation and long-term monitoring for timely detection and treatment of diabetes.

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