Differential Nongenetic Impact of Birth Weight Versus Third-Trimester Growth Velocity on Glucose Metabolism and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Abdominal Obesity in Young Healthy Twins

Kasper Pilgaard, Thomas Hammershaimb Mosbech, Louise Grunnet, Hans Eiberg, Gerrit Van Hall, Eva Fallentin, Torben Larsen, Rasmus Larsen, Pernille Poulsen, Allan Vaag

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    Abstract

    Context: Low birth weight is associated with type 2 diabetes, which to some extent may be mediated via abdominal adiposity and insulin resistance. Fetal growth velocity is high during the third trimester, constituting a potential critical window for organ programming. Intra-pair differences among monozygotic twins are instrumental in determining nongenetic associations between early environment and adult metabolic phenotype.Objective: Our objective was to investigate the relationship between size at birth and third-trimester growth velocity on adult body composition and glucose metabolism using intra-pair differences in young healthy twins.Methods: Fifty-eight healthy twins (42 monozygotic/16 dizygotic) aged 18-24 yr participated. Insulin sensitivity was assessed using hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps. Whole-body fat was assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan, whereas abdominal visceral and sc fat (L1-L4) were assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. Third-trimester growth velocity was determined by repeated ultrasound examinations.Results: Size at birth was nongenetically inversely associated with adult visceral and sc fat accumulation but unrelated to adult insulin action. In contrast, fetal growth velocity during third trimester was not associated with adult visceral or sc fat accumulation. Interestingly, third-trimester growth was associated with insulin action in a paradoxical inverse manner.Conclusions: Abdominal adiposity including accumulation of both sc and visceral fat may constitute primary nongenetic factors associated with low birth weight and reduced fetal growth before the third trimester. Reduced fetal growth during vs. before the third trimester may define distinct adult trajectories of metabolic and anthropometric characteristics influencing risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 96: 2835-2843, 2011)
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
    Volume96
    Issue number9
    Pages (from-to)2835-2843
    ISSN0021-972X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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