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The shape of the placental surface at birth and colorectal cancer in later life

The shape of the placental surface at birth and colorectal cancer in later life
The shape of the placental surface at birth and colorectal cancer in later life
OBJECTIVES: Many chronic diseases, including certain cancers, may originate through variations in the supply of nutrients to the fetus. These variations change gene expression and permanently set the structure and function of the body, a process known as programming. Fetal nutrition depends on the mother's metabolism and nutritional reserves, and on the placenta's ability to transfer nutrients from mother to baby. In this study, we examine how colorectal cancer is related to maternal and placental characteristics.

METHODS: We ascertained 275 cases of colorectal cancer among the 20,431 people in the Helsinki Birth Cohort, who were born during 1924-1944 and whose body size at birth was recorded, together with the shape and size of the placenta.

RESULTS: Hazard ratios for colorectal cancer increased as the placental surface became longer and more oval. The hazard ratio was 2.3 (95% CI 1.2-4.7) among people in whom the difference between the length and breadth of the surface exceeded 6 cm, compared with those in whom there was no difference. Colorectal cancer was unrelated to other placental measurements or to body size at birth.

CONCLUSION: An oval placental surface at birth is associated with later colorectal cancer. The shape of the placental surface is determined by events at around 8-12 weeks gestation. We speculate that, if the spiral arteries open prematurely, the surface becomes more oval and the fetus is at risk of oxidative damage at a time when the colon is differentiating.
1042-0533
566-568
Barker, David J.P.
5c773838-b094-4ac1-999b-b5869717f243
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Eriksson, Johan G.
eb96b1c5-af07-4a52-8a73-7541451d32cd
Barker, David J.P.
5c773838-b094-4ac1-999b-b5869717f243
Osmond, Clive
2677bf85-494f-4a78-adf8-580e1b8acb81
Thornburg, Kent L.
49e1e87d-82d6-41f3-894e-ece7a5a19651
Kajantie, Eero
d68d55b6-6df1-4195-a914-44c738a6db93
Eriksson, Johan G.
eb96b1c5-af07-4a52-8a73-7541451d32cd

Barker, David J.P., Osmond, Clive, Thornburg, Kent L., Kajantie, Eero and Eriksson, Johan G. (2013) The shape of the placental surface at birth and colorectal cancer in later life. American Journal of Human Biology, 25 (4), 566-568. (doi:10.1002/ajhb.22409). (PMID:23754589)

Record type: Article

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Many chronic diseases, including certain cancers, may originate through variations in the supply of nutrients to the fetus. These variations change gene expression and permanently set the structure and function of the body, a process known as programming. Fetal nutrition depends on the mother's metabolism and nutritional reserves, and on the placenta's ability to transfer nutrients from mother to baby. In this study, we examine how colorectal cancer is related to maternal and placental characteristics.

METHODS: We ascertained 275 cases of colorectal cancer among the 20,431 people in the Helsinki Birth Cohort, who were born during 1924-1944 and whose body size at birth was recorded, together with the shape and size of the placenta.

RESULTS: Hazard ratios for colorectal cancer increased as the placental surface became longer and more oval. The hazard ratio was 2.3 (95% CI 1.2-4.7) among people in whom the difference between the length and breadth of the surface exceeded 6 cm, compared with those in whom there was no difference. Colorectal cancer was unrelated to other placental measurements or to body size at birth.

CONCLUSION: An oval placental surface at birth is associated with later colorectal cancer. The shape of the placental surface is determined by events at around 8-12 weeks gestation. We speculate that, if the spiral arteries open prematurely, the surface becomes more oval and the fetus is at risk of oxidative damage at a time when the colon is differentiating.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 10 June 2013
Published date: July 2013
Organisations: Human Development & Health

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Local EPrints ID: 355127
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/355127
ISSN: 1042-0533
PURE UUID: a2e7e060-088f-492c-bb02-70e219e297c4
ORCID for Clive Osmond: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9054-4655

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Date deposited: 08 Aug 2013 09:29
Last modified: 28 Oct 2023 01:39

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Contributors

Author: David J.P. Barker
Author: Clive Osmond ORCID iD
Author: Kent L. Thornburg
Author: Eero Kajantie
Author: Johan G. Eriksson

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