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Eur J Hum Genet. 2007 Jul;15(7):784-90. Epub 2007 Apr 25.

Transgenerational response to nutrition, early life circumstances and longevity.

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  • 1Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden. Gunnar.Kaati@socmed.umu.se

Abstract

Nutrition might induce, at some loci, epigenetic or other changes that could be transmitted to the next generation impacting on health. The slow growth period (SGP) before the prepubertal peak in growth velocity has emerged as a sensitive period where different food availability is followed by different transgenerational response (TGR). The aim of this study is to investigate to what extent the probands own childhood circumstances are in fact the determinants of the findings. In the analysis, data from three random samples, comprising 271 probands and their 1626 parents and grandparents, left after exclusions because of missing data, were utilized. The availability of food during any given year was classified based on regional statistics. The ancestors' SGP was set at the ages of 8-12 years and the availability of food during these years classified as good, intermediate or poor. The probands' childhood circumstances were defined by the father's ownership of land, the number of siblings and order in the sibship, the death of parents and the parents' level of literacy. An earlier finding of a sex-specific influence from the ancestors' nutrition during the SGP, going from the paternal grandmother to the female proband and from the paternal grandfather to the male proband, was confirmed. In addition, a response from father to son emerged when childhood social circumstances of the son were accounted for. Early social circumstances influenced longevity for the male proband. TGRs to ancestors' nutrition prevailed as the main influence on longevity.

PMID:
17457370
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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