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A Life Course Approach to Chronic Disease Epidemiology$
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Diana Kuh, Yoav Ben Shlomo, and Susser Ezra

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198578154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198578154.001.0001

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A life course approach to diabetes

A life course approach to diabetes

(p.165) Chapter 7 A life course approach to diabetes
A Life Course Approach to Chronic Disease Epidemiology

Nita Forouhi

Elizabeth Hall

Paul McKeigue

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews evidence that the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in adult life may be set by factors operating early in the life course of an individual. There is consistent evidence linking small size at birth to T2DM in later life. This association appears to be mediated through insulin resistance and to be at least partially explained by the effects of environmental exposure in utero. However, this small baby syndrome is unlikely to be the main explanation for ethnic differences in rates of diabetes and insulin resistance, where genetic factors are important. The effects of reduced fetal growth in diabetes risk are modest compared with the effects of other factors that may be amenable to intervention: exposure to maternal hyperglycemia and obesity.

Keywords:   type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, epidemiological studies, low birth weight, material hyperglycemia, adult obesity

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