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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2013, Article ID 485082, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/485082
Review Article

Early Life Factors and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

1Department of Ophthalmology, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Ziqiang Road 139, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050051, China
2Department of Physiology, Hebei Medical University, Zhongshan Road 361, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050017, China
3Department of Endocrinology, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Ziqiang Road 139, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050051, China
4Orthopaedic Biomechanical Laboratory of Hebei Province, The Third Hospital of Hebei Medical University, Ziqiang Road 139, Shijiazhuang, Hebei 050051, China

Received 7 October 2013; Accepted 26 November 2013

Academic Editor: Joseph Fomusi Ndisang

Copyright © 2013 Xinli Jiang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a multifactorial disease, and its aetiology involves a complex interplay between genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. In recent years, evidences from both human and animal experiments have correlated early life factors with programming diabetes risk in adult life. Fetal and neonatal period is crucial for organ development. Many maternal factors during pregnancy may increase the risk of diabetes of offsprings in later life, which include malnutrition, healthy (hyperglycemia and obesity), behavior (smoking, drinking, and junk food diet), hormone administration, and even stress. In neonates, catch-up growth, lactation, glucocorticoids administration, and stress have all been found to increase the risk of insulin resistance or T2DM. Unfavorable environments (socioeconomic situation and famine) or obesity also has long-term negative effects on children by causing increased susceptibility to T2DM in adults. We also address the potential mechanisms that may underlie the developmental programming of T2DM. Therefore, it might be possible to prevent or delay the risk for T2DM by improving pre- and/or postnatal factors.