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Lifecourse determinants of fasting and post-challenge glucose at age 50 years: The Newcastle thousand families study

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark PearceORCiD, Professor Nigel Unwin, Professor Caroline Relton, Emeritus Professor Sir George Sir George Alberti, Professor Louise Parker


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Suboptimal nutrition in early life is suggested to influence plasma glucose levels in later life. This study aimed to determine and quantify influences on plasma glucose levels at age 50. We studied 169 men and 219 women from the Newcastle Thousand Families cohort who attended for clinical examination, including measurements of fasting and 2 h post oral glucose load) at age 50. A lifecourse approach was used to estimate proportions of variance in plasma glucose levels accounted for by each stage of the lifecourse. Birth weight significantly predicted two-hour glucose levels in men (adjusted p=0.03). Body composition was a significant predictor of both glucose measures in both genders. Interactions existed between body composition and birth weight on fasting glucose in men and two-hour glucose in women and between gender and birth weight on both outcome measures. Fetal life factors directly explained little variation in either glucose measure (<2%). Adult lifestyle and body composition directly explained larger proportions of the variances (8-13%) for fasting and two-hour glucose than early life measures. The significant effect of birth weight on two-hour glucose seen in men provides support for the fetal origins hypothesis, although adult factors may be more important. Any effect of birth weight on later plasma glucose levels may be compounded by additional effects of adult body composition. © Springer 2005.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pearce M, Unwin N, Relton C, Alberti K, Parker L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Epidemiology

Year: 2005

Volume: 20

Issue: 11

Pages: 915-923

ISSN (print): 0393-2990

ISSN (electronic): 1573-7284

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1007/s10654-005-7925-9

PubMed id: 16284869


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