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Effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on adult disease in later life: an overview.

Abstract

Chronic diseases are the main public health problem in Western countries. There are indications that these diseases originate in the womb. It is thought that undernutrition of the fetus during critical periods of development would lead to adaptations in the structure and physiology of the fetal body, and thereby increase the risk of diseases in later life. The Dutch famine--though a historical disaster--provides a unique opportunity to study effects of undernutrition during gestation in humans. This thesis describes the effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on health in later life. We found indications that undernutrition during gestation affects health in later life. The effects on undernutrition, however, depend upon its timing during gestation and the organs and systems developing during that critical time window. Furthermore, our findings suggest that maternal malnutrition during gestation may permanently affect adult health without affecting the size of the baby at birth. This may imply that adaptations that enable the fetus to continue to grow may nevertheless have adverse consequences of improved nutrition of pregnant women will be underestimated if these are solely based on the size of the baby at birth. Little is known about what an adequate diet for pregnant women might be. In general, women are especially receptive to advice about diet and lifestyle before and during a pregnancy. This should be exploited to improve the health of future generations.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    , , , ,

    Source

    Molecular and cellular endocrinology 185:1-2 2001 Dec 20 pg 93-8

    MeSH

    Adaptation, Physiological
    Adult
    Chronic Disease
    Embryonic and Fetal Development
    Female
    History, 20th Century
    Humans
    Male
    Netherlands
    Nutritional Status
    Pregnancy
    Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
    Starvation

    Pub Type(s)

    Historical Article
    Journal Article
    Review

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    11738798

    Citation

    Roseboom, T J., et al. "Effects of Prenatal Exposure to the Dutch Famine On Adult Disease in Later Life: an Overview." Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, vol. 185, no. 1-2, 2001, pp. 93-8.
    Roseboom TJ, van der Meulen JH, Ravelli AC, et al. Effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on adult disease in later life: an overview. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2001;185(1-2):93-8.
    Roseboom, T. J., van der Meulen, J. H., Ravelli, A. C., Osmond, C., Barker, D. J., & Bleker, O. P. (2001). Effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on adult disease in later life: an overview. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 185(1-2), pp. 93-8.
    Roseboom TJ, et al. Effects of Prenatal Exposure to the Dutch Famine On Adult Disease in Later Life: an Overview. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2001 Dec 20;185(1-2):93-8. PubMed PMID: 11738798.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on adult disease in later life: an overview. AU - Roseboom,T J, AU - van der Meulen,J H, AU - Ravelli,A C, AU - Osmond,C, AU - Barker,D J, AU - Bleker,O P, PY - 2001/12/12/pubmed PY - 2003/3/29/medline PY - 2001/12/12/entrez SP - 93 EP - 8 JF - Molecular and cellular endocrinology JO - Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. VL - 185 IS - 1-2 N2 - Chronic diseases are the main public health problem in Western countries. There are indications that these diseases originate in the womb. It is thought that undernutrition of the fetus during critical periods of development would lead to adaptations in the structure and physiology of the fetal body, and thereby increase the risk of diseases in later life. The Dutch famine--though a historical disaster--provides a unique opportunity to study effects of undernutrition during gestation in humans. This thesis describes the effects of prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine on health in later life. We found indications that undernutrition during gestation affects health in later life. The effects on undernutrition, however, depend upon its timing during gestation and the organs and systems developing during that critical time window. Furthermore, our findings suggest that maternal malnutrition during gestation may permanently affect adult health without affecting the size of the baby at birth. This may imply that adaptations that enable the fetus to continue to grow may nevertheless have adverse consequences of improved nutrition of pregnant women will be underestimated if these are solely based on the size of the baby at birth. Little is known about what an adequate diet for pregnant women might be. In general, women are especially receptive to advice about diet and lifestyle before and during a pregnancy. This should be exploited to improve the health of future generations. SN - 0303-7207 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/11738798/full_citation L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0303720701007213 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -