Studies in singletons have found an association between birthweight and Type 2 diabetes in adult life. The aim of this study was to investigate whether this association could also be seen in twins. 59 monozygotic (MZ) and 69 dizygotic (DZ) same-sex twin pairs aged 19-50 years and 89 singleton controls matched for age, gestational age, gender, maternal age and parity were recruited from a local obstetric database. Associations between adult glucose, HbA(1)C and insulin levels and insulin resistance and birthweight were assessed by linear regression with adjustment for confounding variables. Twins were significantly lighter at birth than singleton controls, but there were no significant differences in adult weight, glucose, HbA,C and insulin levels or insulin resistance between twins and controls. The relationship between birthweight and fasting glucose and insulin levels, and insulin resistance was not significantly different from zero in either twins or controls, but birthweight was significantly negatively associated with HbA,C only in controls. There was no evidence of a difference between MZ and DZ twins in unpaired or within-pair analysis. These results provide little evidence that low birthweight in twins increases the risk of impaired glucose-insulin metabolism in young adults or that genetic factors can account for the association observed in singletons.
- FETAL ORIGINS HYPOTHESIS