Disorders of Glucose Regulation in Adults and Birth Weight: Results from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) Study Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the association of birth weight with indexes of glycemia in a population-based survey. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 10,788 participants in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) Study were asked to complete a birth weight questionnaire. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), postload glucose (PLG), and A1C were modeled against birth weight. World Health Organization criteria were used to define impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and diabetes. RESULTS: Among 7,157 participants who responded to the questionnaire, 4,502 reported their birth weights, with a mean +/- SD of 3.4 +/- 0.7 kg. FPG, PLG, and A1C were strongly and inversely correlated with birth weight. The odds ratios (95% CI) for high (>90th sex-specific percentile) FPG, PLG, and A1C were 0.83 (0.71-0.96), 0.74 (0.65-0.84), and 0.81 (0.70-0.94), respectively, for a 1-kg increase in birth weight after adjustment for age and sex. In those with low birth weight (LBW), the risks for having IFG, IGT, and diabetes and for all abnormalities combined were increased by 1.75, 2.22, 2.76, and 2.28, respectively, for women and by 1.40, 1.32, 1.98, and 1.49 for men compared with risks for those with normal birth weight. These trends applied across categories of age and BMI. CONCLUSIONS: In an affluent Western country with a good adult health profile, birth weight has an inverse relationship with indexes of glycemia, and individuals with LBW were predisposed to higher rates of glycemic dysregulation in adult life. These associations were independent of BMI and of other factors significantly correlated with glycemic dysregulation.


  • Al Salmi, I
  • Hoy, WE
  • Kondalsamy-Chennakesavan, S
  • Wang, Z
  • Gobe, GC
  • Barr, ELM
  • Shaw, JE

publication date

  • January 1, 2008