Small is risky

Published: Tuesday 30 September 1997

Unusually small babies have a high risk of getting diabetes, say French researchers. A study conducted on 230 adults by Juliane Leger and colleagues at France's national research organisation, INSERM, reveals that those who are born small tend to have high levels of blood sugar -- the first sign of diabetes. The researchers say this may be due to the effects of retarded growth in the womb. Studies on people born in the French city of Haguenau indicate when babies get poor nutrition in the womb their bodies compensate for it by making best use of the nutrition they receive. This may lead to an increased sensitivity to glucose, thus increasing the risk of getting diabetes.

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