Premature infants are at higher risk of developing diabetes as adults

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According to a Swedish study published in Diabetes Care (a publication from the American Diabetes Association), babies born premature (before 37 weeks gestational age) have a slightly higher risk of developing diabetes at some point in their lifetime.

Preterm birth, including late preterm birth, is associated with a modestly increased risk of diabetes in young Swedish adults. These findings have important public health implications given the increasing number of preterm births and the large disease burden of diabetes, particularly when diagnosed in young adulthood.

Mind you, this study was done in Sweden, not the United States, so results may be different for American babies born prematurely. My guess is that the percentage may be even higher here in the states. Why? Because the we have a higher rate of premature births. And we also have a higher risk factors involved, such as obesity – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that two thirds of Americans are overweight.

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