Firstborns at risk for diabetes, hypertension
Firstborn children may be at a higher risk of developing diabetes and high blood pressure, concludes a study from New Zealand.
According to the findings, firstborn children have a lower sensitivity to insulin in the body than their younger siblings--a 21 percent lower sensitivity to be precise. This lack of sensitivity to insulin could dispose them to metabolic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other issues.
One possible reason for the decreased sensitivity to insulin could be the way the mother’s body delivers nutrients to her child in utero. During a woman's first pregnancy, the uterus goes through changes in order to feed her gestating baby. During subsequent pregnancies, the nutrition delivery pathways are well established, and the children receive more nutrition in utero than the first child.
The findings from this study, however, do not directly indicate a link between birth order and metabolic diseases. The scientists said more research is needed to determine if there is a more direct link between birth order and adult cases of diabetes, hypertension and other conditions.