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Lecture 4

HLTH 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Prenatal Nutrition, Epigenetics, Coronary Artery Disease

Health Studies
Course Code
HLTH 101
Elaine Power

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Week 4: Early Childhood
-How childhood circumstances affect health in later years
-Government policies to better support childhood
Life course approaches to health
Latent effects
Cumulative effects
Pathway effect
*used to understand how our childhood living experiences impact our later affects in life
Latent effects- Relationships between an exposure at one point in the life course and a health outcome
years or decades later, irrespective of intervening experience.
(more likely to develop type two diabetes)
The Dutch famine November 1944 as low as 400-900 calories per day
The cohort
Children born shortly before, during and immediately after the famine
The Study Objective
To investigate the effects of exposure to famine on health in adulthood
Results in later life (the latent effect)
High prevalence in diabetes
3 fold increase in coronary heart disease prevalence among the cohort
More likely to be obese
Transgenerational effects- Famine children's children were also born smaller than average
The study of the ways in which the environment alters the expression of genes
Environmental factors like diet, stress, prenatal nutrition make an imprint on genes that is passed
onto the next generation
The Barker hypothesis (1994): Developmental origins of adult health
Poor nutrition, health development among girls and young women results in high death rates
from cardiovascular disease in the NEXT generation
The Barker hypothesis has been expanded to cover prenatal origin for other morbidities:
High BP
Type 2 diabetes
Cumulative effects
Long exposure to risk factors leads to intense exposure, and adverse health effects
o Cumulative exposure to specific factors
o Cumulative exposure to multiple factors
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