Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Oct;26(5):655-65. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2012.03.006. Epub 2012 May 22.

Early determinants of chronic disease in developing countries.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemical Pathology, National Health Laboratory Service, University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa.


The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is rising in developing countries. The extent to which this is due to a nutritional mismatch in foetal and adult life is unknown however, studies in such countries show that the risk of chronic diseases is increased in low birthweight subjects who become obese adults. Immune dysfunction is also linked to low birthweight. Therefore, in countries where communicable diseases are prevalent, infection may be exacerbated by factors acting in utero. It is also possible that the foetal growth-retarding effects of maternal Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and malaria infection may contribute to an increased risk of NCDs later in life. Low birthweight and postnatal growth faltering followed by rapid weight gain define subjects who develop NCDs. Dietary interventions at specific time points in the life course may therefore be important for reducing disease risk.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk