About this Research Topic
David Barker is world renowned for hypothesizing the developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). This was consequent to observations from epidemiological studies revealing the causal role of intrauterine circumstances to the origins of chronic diseases in adults. The initial studies revealed that undernutrition during pregnancy was an important determinant of adult cardiac and metabolic disorders due to fetal programming that altered the fetus’s structure, function, and metabolism. Since then, development of fetal origins of adult disorders has remained important focus of researchers in the exploration of causal mechansims for hypertension, coronary heart disease, and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. It is important to collate the prospective evidence which uses the DOHaD approach with the objective of assessing the impact of determinants of health from lifecourse perspective. This includes adaptive response of the fetus towards intra-uterine milieu comprising of varying nutritional, hormonal and epigenetic determinants.
Currently, the high burden of non-communicable diseases is often owed to rapid economic growth in developing nations. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for 35 million deaths globally in a year. Although behavioral measures such as cessation of tobacco use, reduction in the harmful use of alcohol, diet modification and physical activity contribute to the prevention and control of NCDs, gaps remain in the knowledge regarding underlying developmental origins of these diseases. The evidence from this domain is important in halting, and perhaps even in reversing the NCD epidemics.
This Research Topic welcomes original manuscripts, review articles, and commentaries aimed at generating new knowledge for understanding the influence of parental environment, foetal programming and the risk of chronic diseases in adult life. In particular, we encourage the submission of studies focused on: nutritional and endocrine exposures during pregnancy, epigenetic processes, and the adaptive response of the foetus to these changes.
Keywords: Lifecourse Epidemiology, maternal nutrition, fetal programming, DOHaD, Non-communicable diseases
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