Read the current Defeat Diabetes® E-Lerts™ Newsletter

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

 
 
 
     
    
      
       
Defeat Diabetes
Foundation
150 153rd Ave,
Suite 300

Madeira Beach, FL 33708
  

Diabetes Gene Raises Odds of Lower Birth Weight

Posted: Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Pediatric researchers have found that a gene previously shown to be involved in the development of Type 2 diabetes also predisposes children to having a lower birth weight. 

The finding sheds light on a possible genetic influence on how prenatal events may set the stage for developing diabetes in later childhood or adulthood.
 
Study leader, Struan F.A. Grant, Ph.D., a researcher at the Center for Applied Genomics of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, stated that, "It's a bit unusual to find a gene linked to both prenatal events and to a disease that occurs later in life.… This gene variant carries a double whammy, in raising the risk of both lower birth weight and the development of Type 2 diabetes in later life."
 
Type 2 diabetes occurs either when the pancreas produces too little insulin or when the body cannot efficiently use the insulin that is produced. Formerly called adult-onset diabetes and still most common in adults, Type 2 diabetes has been increasing sharply among children.
 
Grant and study co-leader Hakon Hakonarson, Ph.D., director of the Center for Applied Genomics at Children's Hospital, investigated 20 gene locations previously reported to be associated with Type 2 diabetes. Drawing on a cohort of some 5,700 Caucasian children in an ongoing genome-wide association study of childhood obesity at Children's Hospital, the researchers compared birth weights with the occurrence of the 20 gene variants.
 
They found that one of the gene variants, called CDKAL1, had a strong association with lower birth weight -- a finding that supports the so-called fetal insulin hypothesis. Previous studies by European diabetes researchers, said Grant, had suggested that CDKAL1 was implicated in both lower birth weight and Type 2 diabetes, and the current study, using a large sample size, reinforced that association.
 
Under the fetal insulin hypothesis, a slight underproduction of insulin, an important fetal growth factor, during the prenatal period may cause a baby to be born smaller. Low birth weight is already known to increase the risk of disease later in life, and the fetal insulin hypothesis proposes that the same gene that causes lower birth weight also increases the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
 
"The mechanisms by which CDKAL1 may act are not well understood, but it is believed to reduce insulin secretion, and that underproduction contributes to Type 2 diabetes," said Grant. He added that further research may investigate biological pathways on which the gene functions, and may also study whether it may influence the risk of developing other diseases in later life.

Source: Diabetes In Control: July 10 in the online version of the journal Diabetes.

 
 
 
 
 
Join us on Facebook
 
 
 

Send your unopened, unexpired diabetes testing supplies to:

Defeat Diabetes Foundation
150 153rd Ave, Suite 300
Madeira Beach, FL 33708

 

DDF advertisement
 

 Friendly Banner
 


Friendly Banner
 
 
 
Analyze nutrition content by portion
DDF advertisement