The objective of the study was to compare the change in diastolic function, E/A ratio, in response to prolonged exercise in low birth weight and normal birth weight individuals. Using a case–control study design, 23 students of the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences who had neonatal clinic cards as proof of birth weight were recruited into the study. Measurements of diastolic function, E/A ratio, were obtained using an echocardiogram before and after 75 minutes of exercise. Among the cohort, seven had low birth weight – <2500 g, three female patients and four male patients – and 16 had normal birth weight – six female patients and 10 male patients). The mean age was 20.7±3.3 years. After prolonged exercise for 75 minutes of running on a treadmill, decreases in diastolic function, E/A ratio, were significantly greater in low birth weight than in normal birth weight individuals (0.48±0.27 versus 0.19±0.18 p<0.05, respectively). There was a significant association between low birth weight and exercise-induced cardiac fatigue (the χ2 test p<0.05, odds ratio 4.64, 95% confidence interval 1.19–18.1). We conclude that low birth weight is associated with exercise-induced diastolic dysfunction in young adults.