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Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2005 Sep;34(3):597-615, ix.

Endocrine and metabolic consequences of intrauterine growth retardation.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Size at birth and early infancy growth rates have been linked to long-term risks for diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. These associations could be explained by permanent programming of metabolic responses and selective survival of those genetically predisposed to such adaptations. These epidemiologic associations may also affect long-term disease risk in short small-for-gestational age children, who are often treated with growth hormone. Study of the mechanisms and genetic factors involved in the association between small size at birth, rapid postnatal weight gain, and adult disease may promote the early identification of subjects with the highest disease risk and new opportunities to develop targeted early interventions.

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