Early Origins of Cardiometabolic Disease

Authors: Kumaran Kalyanaraman, Clive Osmond, Caroline Fall


This chapter discusses the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) and their implications for public health, summarizing the epidemiological evidence in humans linking low birth weight, infant and childhood growth, adult body mass index (BMI), and maternal weight and nutrition to cardiometabolic risk factors in later life, as well as describing developmental programming and considering alternative explanations for the epidemiological associations before evaluating the effects of interventions in pregnancy, infancy, and childhood on later cardiovascular risk and concluding with the public health implications and potential economic benefits of early life interventions. Considerable gaps exist in evidence sufficient to establish causal links between early life exposures and disease outcomes in later life and to develop interventions in early life to prevent disease, so research planners should take a long-term view and enable the follow-up of high-quality cohorts and intervention trials for long enough to obtain information on hard disease outcomes in later life.


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