"Catch-Up Weight" Is the Key Factor Linking Low-Birth Weight and Family History of Diabetes to Abnormal Insulin Sensitivity in African Caribbean Adolescent Girls (Ages 14-16)
Abstract Number: 973-P
Authors: EARLE C. CHAMBERS, EUGENE S. TULL, NATASHA P. SOBERS
Institutions: New York, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; St. Michael, Barbados
Results: Understanding the relationship between birth weight, weight gain and insulin resistance in adolescence is important given the increasing rates of obesity and type-2 diabetes in childhood. This retrospective cohort study examined the relationship of birth weight, family history of diabetes (FamHx) and weight gain, from birth through adolescence, to insulin resistance in black girls and boys on the Caribbean island of Barbados. A cohort of 56 low birth weight (LBW) and 124 normal birth weight (NBW) adolescents born between 1986 and 1988 were recruited for study participation in 2002. FamHx was characterized as either the mother or father having diabetes and was ascertained by questionnaire given to the mother of the child participant. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) were used to assess fat distribution. Fasting blood glucose and insulin were measured from blood samples drawn from each adolescent participant. Insulin resistance was estimated by the HOMA technique. These data show that only among LBW girls was a positive (+) FamHx associated with higher HOMA (FamHx “Yes”=1.22±.298 vs. “No”=.659±.535; p=.013) and BMI values (FamHx “Yes”=25.89±9.38kg/m² vs. “No”= 20.52±4.33 kg/m²; p=.044). No significant relationships were observed among boys. Further analyses revealed that compared to their NBW counterparts, LBW girls without FamHx, had significantly lower BMI (23.94±7.14 kg/m² vs. 20.52±4.33 kg/m², respectively; p=.039) and WC (78.17±17.28cm vs. 69.11±9.45cm, respectively; p=.022). In contrast, LBW girls with a (+) FamHx had experienced “catch-up” weight so that their current mean BMI (25.89±9.38 kg/m²) and WC (77.71±16.46cm) values were not significantly different from those of NBW girls with (+) FamHx (BMI= 22.12±4.17 kg/m² and WC =71.50±10.38cm). These data indicate that along with a family history of diabetes, catch-up weight is important in assessing diabetes risk in black Caribbean LBW adolescent girls.