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Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2010 Dec;17(6):507-16. doi: 10.1097/MED.0b013e3283405921.

Prenatal stress and developmental programming of human health and disease risk: concepts and integration of empirical findings.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, Irvine, California, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

The concept of the developmental origins of health and disease susceptibility is rapidly attracting interest and gaining prominence as a complementary approach to understanding the causation of many complex common disorders that confer a major burden of disease; however several important issues and questions remain to be addressed, particularly in the context of humans.

RECENT FINDINGS:

In this review we enunciate some of these questions and issues, review empirical evidence primarily from our own recent studies on prenatal stress and stress biology, and discuss putative maternal-placental-fetal endocrine and immune/inflammatory candidate mechanisms that may underlie and mediate short-term and long-term effects of prenatal stress on the developing human embryo and fetus, with a specific focus on body composition, metabolic function, and obesity risk.

SUMMARY:

The implications for research and clinical practice are discussed with a summary of recent advances in noninvasive methods to characterize fetal, newborn, infant, and child developmental and health-related processes that, when coupled with available state-of-the-art statistical modeling approaches for longitudinal, repeated measures time series analysis, now afford unprecedented opportunities to explore and uncover the developmental origins of human health and disease.

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PMID:
20962631
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3124255
Free PMC Article
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