Premature babies at higher risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Premature babies are at a higher risk of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes as children or younger adults, according to research.

A US team say babies who are born before 37 weeks should be intensively monitored in a bid to prevent or lower their risk of developing either condition.

Preterm birth has been associated with early life insulin resistance, which can develop into diabetes. However, no large population-based studies have examined risks of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes in people who were premature. Neither have they looked at the differences between boys and girls from childhood into adulthood.

‘Higher survival rates’

Professor Casey Crump, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said: “This is important because doctors will increasingly encounter adults who were born prematurely due to higher survival rates, and will need to understand their long-term risks.”

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