Altered Fat Tissue Distribution in Young Adult Men Who Had Low Birth Weight

  1. Eva Lind Rasmussen, MSC1,
  2. Charlotte Malis, MSC1,
  3. Christine Bjørn Jensen, MD, PHD1,
  4. Jens-Erik Beck Jensen, MD, PHD2,
  5. Heidi Storgaard, MD, PHD1,
  6. Pernille Poulsen, MD, PHD1,
  7. Kasper Pilgaard, MD1,
  8. Jacob Hagen Schou, MD1,
  9. Sten Madsbad, MD, DMSC2,
  10. Arne Astrup, MD, DMSC3 and
  11. Allan Vaag, MD, DMSC, PHD1
  1. 1Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark
  2. 2Department of Endocrinology, Hvidovre University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  3. 3The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Frederiksberg C, Denmark
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Christine Bjørn Jensen, MD, PhD, Steno Diabetes Center, Niels Steensens Vej 2, 2820 Gentofte, Denmark. E-mail: cbjj{at}

Numerous studies have implicated impaired early growth (low birth weight [LBW]) as a risk factor for the development of obesity (1) and type 2 diabetes (2). Obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, is associated with an increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, and although the mechanistic basis is not fully known, several characteristics of the metabolically active visceral fat depot, including ready release of free fatty acids and adipokines into the portal circulation, have been proposed as potential mediators of whole-body insulin resistance. In contrast, leg fat appears to be protective against the development of glucose intolerance (3). Little is known about time of onset of fat accumulation and the regional distribution of fat tissue in LBW subjects. Previous studies have used indirect methods such as BMI, waist and hip circumference, and waist-to-hip ratio to assess adiposity and body fat distribution. The limitation of those measurements was recently demonstrated (4).

We determined whole-body fat content and regional fat distribution by anthropometrical measurements (BMI and waist and hip circumference) and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) (Norland XR-26 …

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