PMID: 8096277Apr 10, 1993

Fetal nutrition and cardiovascular disease in adult life

Lancet
D J BarkerJ S Robinson

Abstract

Babies who are small at birth or during infancy have increased rates of cardiovascular disease and non-insulin-dependent diabetes as adults. Some of these babies have low birthweights, some are small in relation to the size of their placentas, some are thin at birth, and some are short at birth and fail to gain weight in infancy. This paper shows how fetal undernutrition at different stages of gestation can be linked to these patterns of early growth. The fetuses' adaptations to undernutrition are associated with changes in the concentrations of fetal and placental hormones. Persisting changes in the levels of hormone secretion, and in the sensitivity of tissues to them, may link fetal undernutrition with abnormal structure, function, and disease in adult life.

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Related Concepts

Diabetes Mellitus, Non-Insulin-Dependent
Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
Insulin Sensitivity
Infant Overnutrition
Acclimatization
Fetal Growth Retardation
Placenta
Morphologically Abnormal Structure (Morphologic Abnormality)
Hormone Secretion
Cardiovascular Diseases

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