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Birth-weight, insulin levels, and HOMA-IR in newborns at term

Luis E Simental-Mendía, Argelia Castañeda-Chacón, Martha Rodríguez-Morán and Fernando Guerrero-Romero*

Author Affiliations

Biomedical Research Unit, Mexican Social Security Institute, Prédio Canoas 100, Col. Los Angeles, Durango, Dgo, 34067, Mexico

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BMC Pediatrics 2012, 12:94  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-94

Published: 7 July 2012



Recent studies have demonstrated that low and high birth-weight at birth are risk factors of developing diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine if the abnormal birth-weight is related with hyperinsulinemia and elevated index of the Homeostasis Model assessment for Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR) at birth, in at term newborns.


Newborns with gestational age between 38 and 41 weeks, products of normal pregnancies of healthy mothers aged 18 to 39 years, were eligible to participate. Small-for-gestational age (SGA) and large-for-gestational age (LGA) newborns were compared with appropriate-for-gestational (AGA) age newborns. Incomplete or unclear data about mother’s health status, diabetes, gestational diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, and other conditions that affect glucose metabolism were exclusion criteria. Hyperinsulinemia was defined by serum insulin levels ≥13.0 μU/mL and IR by HOMA-IR ≥2.60. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to determine the odds ratio (OR) that computes the association between birth-weight (independent variable) with hyperinsulinemia and HOMA-IR index (dependent variables).


A total of 107 newborns were enrolled; 13, 22, and 72 with SGA, LGA, and AGA, respectively. Hyperinsulinemia was identified in 2 (15.4%), 6 (27.3%), and 5 (6.9%) with SGA, LGA, and AGA (p=0.03), whereas IR in 3 (23.1%), 8 (36.4%), and 10 (13.9%) newborns with SGA, LGA and AGA (p=0.06). The LGA showed a strong association with hyperinsulinemia (OR 5.02; CI 95%, 1.15-22.3; p=0.01) and HOMA-IR (OR 3.54; CI 95%, 1.03-12.16; p=0.02); although without statistical significance, the SGA showed a tendency of association with hyperinsulinemia (OR 2.43; CI 95%, 0.43-17.3 p=0.29) and HOMA-IR (OR 1.86; CI 95%, 0.33-9.37; p=0.41).


Our results suggest that LGA is associated with hyperinsulinemia and elevated HOMA-IR at birth whereas the SGA show a tendency of association.