Famine in early life linked to diabetes in later life, researchers find

March 6, 2013

People born during three major 20th century famines were more likely to develop diabetes later in life than those not born during famines, according to a new study by SFI External Professor Stefan Thurner and collaborators.

Using a unique of some 8 million Austrians—325,000 of whom were under treatment for diabetes in 2006 and 2007—the researchers studied the diabetes rates for patients from each birth year from 1917 to 2007.

Depending on the region, there was an up to two times greater chance of patients having diabetes when they were born during one of three in Austria compared to surrounding years. The excess risk for diabetes was nearly absent in those provinces of Austria that were less affected by the famines.

The significantly higher rates of diabetes for those born during periods of famine underscores the importance of ensuring sufficient nutrition in prenatal and early stages of life, the researchers say.

Thurner is a professor of at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria.

Explore further: Preterm birth of mother increases risk of pregnancy complications

More information: Read the paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (March 4, 2013).

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New blood test may better predict gestational diabetes

April 27, 2017

A new study led by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital has found that a single measurement of plasma glycated CD59 (GCD59), a novel biomarker for diabetes, at weeks 24-28 of gestation identified, with high sensitivity ...

Post-biotics may help shield obese from diabetes

April 20, 2017

You've heard of pre-biotics and pro-biotics, but now you'll be hearing a lot more about post-biotics. Researchers at McMaster University have begun to identify how post-biotics, or the by-products of bacteria, lower blood ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.