Low birth weight increases risk for heart disease?

preemiePrevious studies have shown that low birth weight babies have an increased risk of developing heart disease as adults. Babies weighing less than 5 ½ pounds are generally considered low birth weight. A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism followed over 5,600 people from Finland from birth to age 30. The researchers found that small babies had higher white blood cell (WBC) counts. An elevated WBC count signifies an inflammatory disorder. Inflammation has been previously linked to the development of heart disease and diabetes. This doesn’t mean that all smaller weight babies will definitely develop heart disease but they may be at an increased risk as they reach adulthood. It’s important to identify all the other risk factors for heart disease and diabetes and try to develop healthy lifestyles to lower future risk.

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