A new study has found that people born with a low birth weight due to genetic factors may have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers created a genetic risk score (GRS) based on five low birth weight-related genetic variations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
Their analysis showed that for each one point increase in GRS (with the score ranging from 1-10), the risk of developing type 2 diabetes increased by six per cent.
Researchers from Tulane University in the US conducted the study on 3,627 type 2 diabetes cases and 12,974 controls of European ancestry. Further evidence found that low birth-weight was actually causing the excess risk in type 2 diabetes.
“Evidence from both population and experimental studies has suggested that restricted early life development has long-term structural and functional influence on individuals' predisposition to an increased risk of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes,” researchers said.
As low-birth weight represents restricted foetal growth. In the research it was found that a genetically lowered birth weight was associated with increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.