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Children and adults born prematurely may benefit from early screening for type 2 diabetes

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Children and adults born prematurely may benefit from early screening for type 2 diabetes

Newborn girl baby inside incubator in hospital post delivery room with identification bracelet tag nameA large study that followed the life span of more than 4 million prematurely born babies (babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) has found that they are at an increased risk of developing type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Compared with babies born at full-term, those born prematurely were 21% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and 26% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes before turning 18. After the age of 18, this group’s risk increased even more. Premature girls were at slightly higher risk than boys.

Although babies born pre-term are at a higher risk for diabetes and other conditions, they generally do well over time. Throughout their lifetime, children and adults who were born prematurely would benefit from earlier screenings and lifestyle interventions – such as exercise and weight management – to help lower their risk. Learn more about this study at The New York Times.