As birth weight decreased, the age at which type 1 diabetes appeared advanced. The study was part of the Search for Diabetes in Youth, and involved 449 participants who were under 20 at the time of the diabetes diagnosis.
The six clinical sites were the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, the University of South Carolina in Columbia, Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, the Sansum Medical Research Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif., and University of Hawaii.
Search for Diabetes in Youth is trying to determine the prevalence and incidence of childhood diabetes and document how much childhood diabetes is type 1, how much is type 2, and how much is due to other rare causes. The study is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
According to the American Diabetes Association, type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance (a condition in which the body fails to properly use insulin), combined with relative insulin deficiency.