The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Perceived health of adults after prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine

Roseboom, Tessa J., Van der Meulen, Jan H., Ravelli, Anita C., Osmond, Clive, Barker, David J.P. and Bleker, Otto P. (2003) Perceived health of adults after prenatal exposure to the Dutch famine Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 17, (4), pp. 391-397. (doi:10.1046/j.1365-3016.2003.00516.x).

Record type: Article


People who were undernourished in early gestation are more obese, have a more atherogenic lipid profile, and altered blood coagulation and seem to have an increased risk of coronary heart disease. We now report on whether they also feel less healthy. We therefore assessed the perceived health of 50-year-old-men and women born alive as singletons around the time of the Dutch famine in the Wilhelmina Gasthuis in Amsterdam. People who had been exposed to famine in early gestation, but not those exposed in mid- or late gestation, more often rated their health as poor (10.3% vs. to 4.9% in the unexposed, odds ratio (OR) 2.2 [1.0, 4.8]).
The effect of exposure to famine in early gestation on perceived health could only partly be explained by an increased prevalence of coronary heart disease, respiratory diseases, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolaemia or cancer (adjusted OR 2.2 [0.9, 5.2]). Adjustment for adult risk factors (BMI, LDL/HDL cholesterol ratio, blood pressure, smoking, lung function) also attenuated the results to some extent (adjusted OR 1.9 [0.6, 5.5]). People who were exposed to famine in early gestation were not only less healthy in terms of objective measures of health but they also felt less healthy. Because poor perceived health is a strong predictor of mortality, we may expect increased mortality in people who were exposed to famine in early gestation in the future.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 2003


Local EPrints ID: 25956
ISSN: 0269-5022
PURE UUID: fab4dd8e-b110-4995-9a41-a374caaccc7f
ORCID for Clive Osmond: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Apr 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:09

Export record



Author: Tessa J. Roseboom
Author: Jan H. Van der Meulen
Author: Anita C. Ravelli
Author: Clive Osmond ORCID iD
Author: David J.P. Barker
Author: Otto P. Bleker

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.