The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Study Links Low Birth Weight To Increased Diabetes Risk For Black Women


A new study at Boston University School of Public Health found that being born at a low birth weight puts black women at increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes. Low birth weight was defined as less than 5.5 pounds. But why?

Researchers explain the connection

According to researchers in the study, babies who are born at a low birth weight lack nutrition which triggers their bodies to absorb more nutrition which can increase the risk for diabetes later in life. African Americans have a high prevalence of low birth weight. The study showed that black women with a low birth weight were 13 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with a normal birth weight.

Very low birth weight

In addition, the study showed that black women who had a very low birth weight, defined as less than 3.3 pounds, had a 40 percent higher risk of diabetes than those with a normal birth weight.

Woman's body weight not a factor

Interestingly, the body weight of a woman was not a factor in low birth weight and increased risk for diabetes. Whether or not the women were obese, they still had a higher risk for diabetes if their birth weight was considered low or very low.

Further research will be conducted at the university to increase information and understanding about this at-risk group.
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