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Eur J Epidemiol. 2011 Oct;26(10):763-70. doi: 10.1007/s10654-011-9621-2. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Cardiovascular and metabolic influences of fetal smoke exposure.

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1
The Generation R Study Group (Room Ae-012), Erasmus Medical Centre, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Many epidemiological studies showed associations of low birth weight with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. The associations seem to be consistent and stronger among subjects with a postnatal catch up growth. It has been suggested that developmental changes in response to adverse fetal exposures might lead to changes in the fetal anatomy and physiology. These adaptations may be beneficial for short term, but may lead to common diseases in adulthood. Maternal smoking during pregnancy is one of the most important adverse fetal exposures in Western countries, and is known to be associated with a 150-200 g lower birth weight. An accumulating body of evidence suggests that maternal smoking during pregnancy might be involved in pathways leading to both low birth weight and common diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity, in adulthood. In this review, we discuss epidemiological studies focused on the associations of maternal smoking with fetal growth and development and cardiovascular and metabolic disease in later life. We also discuss potential biological mechanisms, and challenges for future epidemiological studies.

PMID:
21994150
PMCID:
PMC3218270
DOI:
10.1007/s10654-011-9621-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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