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Journal Article

Do mismatches between pre- and post-natal environments influence adult physiological functioning?

Authors

Publication date

31 Jan 2014

Summary

Purpose
Mismatches between pre- and post-natal environments have implications for disease in adulthood. However, less is known about how this mismatch can affect physiological systems more generally, especially at younger ages. We hypothesised that mismatches between pre- and post-natal environments, as measured by the measures of birthweight and adult leg length, would be associated with poorer biomarker levels across five key physiological systems in young adults.
Methods
Data were collected from 923, 36 year-old respondents from the West of Scotland Twenty-07 Study. The biomarkers were: systolic blood pressure (sBP); forced expiratory volume (FEV1); glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c); glomerular filtration rate (eGFR); and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT). These biomarkers were regressed against pre-natal conditions (birthweight), post-natal conditions (leg length) and the interaction between pre- and post-natal measures. Sex, childhood socioeconomic position and adult lifestyle characteristics were adjusted for as potential effect modifiers and confounders, respectively.
Results
There were no associations between birthweight and leg length and sBP, FEV1, HbA1c, or GGT. Higher birthweight and longer leg length were associated with better kidney function (eGFR). However, there was no evidence for mismatches between birthweight and leg length to be associated with worse sBP, FEV1, HbA1c, eGFR or GGT levels (P>0.05).
Conclusions
Our hypothesis that early signs of physiological damage would be present in young adults given mismatches in childhood environments, as measured by growth markers, was not proven. This lack of association could be because age 36 is too young to identify significant trends for future health, or the associations simply not being present.

Published in

PLoS ONE

Volume and page numbers

9 , 86953

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086953

ISSN

16

Subjects

Medicine, Child Development, Health, and Biology

Notes

Open Access article

#522168


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