Nav: Home

Birth weight is risk factor for fatty liver disease in children

April 04, 2017

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, with a cohort of clinical collaborators from across the United States, have demonstrated the impact of low and high birth weights in developing Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), a chronic disease that often leads to a need for organ transplantation. Results of the study were published in the online April edition of The Journal of Pediatrics.

"What our research found is that low-birth weight and high-birth weight were both associated with the severity of liver disease, but in different ways," said Jeffrey Schwimmer, MD, professor of pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the Fatty Liver Clinic at Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego. "Children with low-birth weight were more likely to develop severe scarring of the liver. However, children with high-birth weight were more likely to develop the hepatitis form of fatty liver disease."

From the beginning of a child's life, low birth weight and high birth weight identify children who have increased risk for health-related issues, one being NAFLD. Birth weight involves both maternal and in utero factors, which may have long-lasting consequences for liver health.

Schwimmer noted that early research indicated a relationship between low-birth weight and cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, until now, there had been a lack of insight into the link between high-birth weight and long-term health outcomes.

"This is the first study to show that extremes of weights on either side of the normal spectrum are connected to an increased risk for NAFLD," said Schwimmer. "Children who are born with low birth weight or high birth weight may merit closer attention to their metabolic health to help prevent obesity, liver disease, and diabetes."

Information was obtained from more than 530 children under the age of 21 who were enrolled in the Database of the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases NASH Clinical Research Network. The children had a diagnosis of NAFLD as confirmed by liver biopsy. The birth weights of the children were collected and compared to the distribution of birth weight categories in the general U.S. population.

According to the American Liver Foundation, NAFLD is a spectrum of diseases that begins with excess fat deposits in the liver. As the disease progresses, fibrosis increases, which may become cirrhosis, a permanent form of scarring that can lead to liver failure and need for transplantation. NAFLD affects 30 million people in the U.S., almost 10 percent of whom are children. The average age of diagnosis is 12.
-end-
Contributing authors for the paper include: Kimberly P. Newton, MD, Haruna S. Feldman, PhD, Christina D. Chambers, PhD, MPH, UC San Diego; Laura Wilson ScM, and Jeanne M. Clark MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins University; Cynthia Behling MD, PhD, Sharp Medical Center; Jean P. Molleston, MD, Riley Children's Hospital; Naga Chalasani MD, Indiana University School of Medicine; Arun J. Sanyal, MD, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine; Mark H. Fishbein, MD, Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago; and Joel E. Lavine MD, PhD, Columbia University.

University of California - San Diego

Related Diabetes Articles:

The role of vitamin A in diabetes
There has been no known link between diabetes and vitamin A -- until now.
Can continuous glucose monitoring improve diabetes control in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin
Two studies in the Jan. 24/31 issue of JAMA find that use of a sensor implanted under the skin that continuously monitors glucose levels resulted in improved levels in patients with type 1 diabetes who inject insulin multiple times a day, compared to conventional treatment.
Complications of type 2 diabetes affect quality of life, care can lead to diabetes burnout
T2D Lifestyle, a national survey by Health Union of more than 400 individuals experiencing type 2 diabetes (T2D), reveals that patients not only struggle with commonly understood complications, but also numerous lesser known ones that people do not associate with diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and obesity -- what do we really know?
Social and economic factors have led to a dramatic rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity around the world.
A better way to predict diabetes
An international team of researchers has discovered a simple, accurate new way to predict which women with gestational diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes after delivery.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Older Americans with diabetes living longer without disability, US study shows
Older Americans with diabetes born in the 1940s are living longer and with less disability performing day to day tasks than those born 10 years earlier, according to new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
Reverse your diabetes -- and you can stay diabetes-free long-term
A new study from Newcastle University, UK, has shown that people who reverse their diabetes and then keep their weight down remain free of diabetes.
New cause of diabetes
Although insulin-producing cells are found in the endocrine tissue of the pancreas, a new mouse study suggests that abnormalities in the exocrine tissue could cause cell non-autonomous effects that promotes diabetes-like symptoms.
The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Reducing sugar content in sugar-sweetened drinks by 40 percent over 5 years could prevent 1.5 million cases of overweight and obesity in the UK and 300,000 cases of diabetes
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal suggests that reducing sugar content in sugar sweetened drinks (including fruit juices) in the UK by 40 percent over five years, without replacing them with any artificial sweeteners, could prevent 500,000 cases of overweight and 1 million cases of obesity, in turn preventing around 300,000 cases of type 2 diabetes, over two decades.
Breastfeeding lowers risk of type 2 diabetes following gestational diabetes
Women with gestational diabetes who consistently and continuously breastfeed from the time of giving birth are half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes within two years after delivery, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente published today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Related Diabetes Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Setbacks
Failure can feel lonely and final. But can we learn from failure, even reframe it, to feel more like a temporary setback? This hour, TED speakers on changing a crushing defeat into a stepping stone. Guests include entrepreneur Leticia Gasca, psychology professor Alison Ledgerwood, astronomer Phil Plait, former professional athlete Charly Haversat, and UPS training manager Jon Bowers.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".