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Endocrinology. 2015 Oct;156(10):3416-21. doi: 10.1210/EN.2015-1394. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Integrating Environmental Influences.

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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (J.J.H., J.B., L.B., K.G., W.S., C.T.), Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709; Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health (M.N.B.-D.), World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland; Department of Environmental Health (P.G.), Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115; Department of Preventative Medicine (P.J.L.), The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York 10029; Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute (P.D.S.), University of Queensland, Herston 4006, Australia; Department of Environmental Medicine (D.C.S.), University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, New York 14642; and Institute of Developmental Sciences (M.H.), University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom.


There are now robust data supporting the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) paradigm. This includes human and animal data focusing on nutrition or environmental chemicals during development. However, the term DOHaD has not been generally accepted as the official term to be used when one is concerned with understanding the pathophysiological basis for how environmental influences acting during early development influence the risk of later noncommunicable diseases. Similarly, there is no global research or public health program built around the DOHaD paradigm that encompasses all aspects of environment. To better inform the global health efforts aimed at addressing the growing epidemic of chronic noncommunicable diseases of environmental origin, we propose a two-pronged approach: first, to make it clear that the current concept of DOHaD comprehensively includes a range of environmental factors and their relevance to disease occurrence not just throughout the life span but potentially across several generations; and second, to initiate the discussion of how adoption of DOHaD can promote a more realistic, accurate, and integrative approach to understanding environmental disruption of developmental programming and better inform clinical and policy interventions.

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