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Aims: To investigate (a) the prevalence of insulin resistance in children with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR); (b) whether catch-up growth is associated with a higher risk of insulin resistance; (c) the insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system status. Methods: 49 children with IUGR aged 9.1 ± 3.3 years underwent anthropometric measurements, and assessment of insulin resistance and IGF system parameters. A fasting glucose/insulin ratio (G/I) <6 was chosen as suggestive of insulin resistance. Results: 11/49 (22%) children had a G/I <6. Postnatal growth closely correlated with birth size and actual body mass index (BMI). None of the insulin resistance parameters was related to linear growth and BMI. Liver function markers were significantly related to insulin sensitivity status. The IGF system status was normal and did not correlate with insulin resistance indicators. Conclusions: (a) Children with IUGR have a high prevalence of reduced insulin sensitivity; (b) postnatal catch-up growth is related to intrauterine growth and actual nutritional status; (c) insulin sensitivity status is not related to postnatal growth but to liver function; (d) IGF system is normal and not related to the insulin resistance parameters during childhood.
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