Washington, Feb 4 : Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have discovered that ENPP1 gene associated with risk of developing type-2 diabetes may be associated with premature child birth and low birth weight in Hispanic women.
The study Errol Norwitz, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale revealed that both the genetic make-up of the mother and the genetic make-up of the baby play a role in preterm births.
Norwitz and his colleagues tried to figure out some of the genetic factors responsible for preterm birth.
They isolated DNA in blood samples from a largely Hispanic population of mothers with a history of preterm birth and compared them to the DNA of women who had only had full-term pregnancies.
The team later screened the DNA for 128 different genetic variations in 77 candidate genes.
The findings revealed that four polymorphisms were associated with premature birth and a variant of the ENPP1 gene was most closely linked.
"In our original study, 85 percent of the population was Hispanic," said Norwitz.
"It appears that there are genetic variations unique to each ethnic population. We are now in the process of validating our findings in African-American, Caucasian and Native-American populations," he added.
The preliminary results from this research were presented at the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas.