ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – Researchers at the University of Auckland in New Zealand have learned that first-born children are at greater risk of developing diabetes.
Scientists at the University’s Liggins Institute found that children born first in a family experience higher blood pressure and more difficulty absorbing sugar, which could lead to Type 2 diabetes, than children with older siblings.
“Although birth order alone is not a predictor of metabolic or cardiovascular disease, being the first-born child in a family can contribute to a person’s overall risk,” study author Dr. Wayne Cutfield was quoted as saying in a press release.
CBS News reports that 85 children, all between the ages of 4 and 11, were involved in the study. Of those, 32 children were first to be born in their families.
Their weights, heights and blood profiles were all documented during physical examinations, CBS News learned.
“This finding may have important public health implications, in light of a worldwide trend toward smaller families,” the researchers were quoted as saying.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta defines diabetes as “a disease in which blood glucose levels are above normal.”
“Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations,” the CDC official website also states. “Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.”