The developmental origins of well-being

Barker, D. J. P. (2004) The developmental origins of well-being. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 359, (1449), 1359-1366. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2004.1518).


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Low birthweight is now known to be associated with increased rates of coronary heart disease and the related disorders, stroke, hypertension and adult-onset diabetes. These associations have been extensively replicated in studies in different countries and are not the result of confounding variables. They extend across the normal range of birthweight and depend on lower birthweights in relation to the duration of gestation rather than the effects of premature birth. The associations are thought to be consequences of developmental plasticity, the phenomenon by which one genotype can give rise to a range of different physiological or morphological states in response to different environmental conditions during development. Recent observations have shown that impaired growth in infancy and rapid childhood weight gain exacerbate the effects of impaired prenatal growth. A new vision of optimal early human development is emerging, which takes account of health and well-being throughout life.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1098/rstb.2004.1518
Additional Information: One contribution of 12 to a Discussion Meeting Issue 'The science of well-being: integrating neurobiology, psychology and social science'.
ISSNs: 0962-8436 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: developmental plasticity, chronic disease, reproductive fitness
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Medicine > Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
ePrint ID: 25238
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:47

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