Low birth weight for gestational age associates with reduced glucose concentrations at birth, infancy and childhood

Paolo Ghirri, Christini Ladaki, Ambra Bartoli, Giuseppe Scirè, Marco Vuerich, Gian Luigi Spadoni, Arianna Maiorana, Caterina Geremia, Antonio Boldrini, Stefano Cianfarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: Our aim was to investigate glucose homeostasis, insulin sensitivity and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system status in children born small for gestational age (SGA). Methods: A case-control study was carried out at birth, infancy and childhood, comparing SGA with children appropriate for gestational age strictly matched for age, gender, pubertal status and body mass index. Ninety newborns, 52 infants, and 68 children were studied. Fasting insulin (I F), fasting glucose (G F) to I F ratio (G F/I F), the homeostasis model assessment of insulin sensitivity, the quantitative insulin sensitivity check index, insulinogenic index and the triglyceride/high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol ratio were measured. IGF-I, IGF-binding protein-3 and the IGF-I/IGF-binding protein-3 molar ratio were assessed. Results: Glucose concentrations were lower in SGA newborns (p <0.0001), infants (p = 0.01), and children (p = 0.001). Birth weight correlated with glucose levels at birth (r = 0.59, p <0.0001), 12 months (r = 0.29, p = 0.04) and childhood (r = 0.44, p <0.0001). Conclusion: Our results provide evidence for a developmental adaptation of glucose metabolism in SGA children leading to reduced glucose concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalHormone Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007


  • Glucose concentration
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Insulin-like growth factor system
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Low birth weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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