Aim: To evaluate the impact of prenatal or postnatal compromised environment on glucose homoeostasis in children born preterm and appropriate for gestational age or small for gestational age (SGA) at term.
Method: Seventy-seven children (median 9.9 years, range 8.5–10) born at Karolinska Hospital were allocated to three groups: 21 subjects born before 30 weeks of gestational age (preterm), 26 SGA at term and 30 at term with appropriate birth weight (control). Anthropometric measurements were taken, and fasting blood samples for haemoglobin A1c, glucose, insulin, IGFBP-1, IGF-1 and lipid profile were taken. Glucose, insulin and IGFBP-1 samples were taken at 0, 30 and 120 min during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
Results: Subjects born preterm or SGA were shorter and thinner compared with Controls. After adjustment for body mass index (BMI), the SGA group had higher basal insulin levels (p = 0.029), higher homoeostasis model assessment—insulin resistance (p = 0.012) and lower whole-body insulin sensitivity index (p = 0.007) than Controls. IGFBP-1 decrease during OGTT was attenuated in the Preterm group compared with the Control (p = 0.045) and SGA groups (p = 0.007).
Conclusion: The higher fasting insulin level in the SGA children, adjusted for BMI, could indicate peripheral insulin resistance. Preterm born children had reduced suppression of IGFBP-1 during OGTT, suggesting hepatic insulin resistance.