People having extremely low birth weight (ELBW) are four times more likely to develop dysglycemia, or abnormal blood glucose by the their early 30s, than the normal birth weight (NBW) peers.
According to a Mcmaster University research, these babies, who were born weighing less than 2.2 pounds, are also more likely than their peer group to have higher body fat and lower lean mass in adulthood, although both groups have a similar body mass index (BMI).
Now in their early ‘30s, 26%of the ELBW babies have dysglycemia compared to eight percent of the NBW peers.
“Because they were born early, the ELBW babies were living outside the womb during the most important developmental period for fat and muscle development. We think that might be related to our findings,” said Katherine Morrison, the principal investigator.
“It’s important to know about these potential implications for the ELBW babies, so that we can identify ways to help those born premature counteract these potential influences on their health,” Morrison added.
Researchers at McMaster University, led by researcher Saroj Saigal, have been following the health of extreme preemies since their birth at HHS between 1977 and 1982.
“This is one of the largest and oldest longitudinal studies of extremely low birth weight children, but we are learning how that early start in life impacts them throughout their lives,” said Morrison, adding “We very much appreciate the commitment of these study participants who have helped us with these studies throughout their lives.”
The study has been published in Pediatrics.