Problems for Preemies: Early birth is linked to insulin overproduction

10:54am, November 17, 2004

Infants born prematurely are more likely than full-term, normal-weight babies to later develop insulin resistance, a warning sign of diabetes, a new study finds.

A person with insulin resistance has cells that respond inefficiently to insulin, the hormone that orchestrates sugar metabolism throughout the body. By resisting the hormone's effects, cells require the insulin-making pancreas to work harder, resulting in type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes. Over a lifetime, the insulin factories in the pancreas can wear out.

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