Inskip, H.M., Godfrey, K.M., Robinson, S.M., Law, C.M., Barker, D.J. and Cooper, C.
Cohort profile: The Southampton Women's Survey
International Journal of Epidemiology, 35, (5), . (doi:10.1093/ije/dyi202).
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Inverse associations between birthweight and later risk of major chronic diseases, notably cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, have been found in various studies.1 Birthweight is determined by length of gestation and the combination of the early trajectory of fetal growth and the capacity of the fetal supply line to maintain this trajectory in late gestation. Studies in early pregnancy, assisted reproductive technology, and animal experiments indicate that both genetic and environmental factors are important in establishing the fetal growth trajectory and the fetal supply line; environmental factors include transgenerational influences and the mother's body composition, endocrine profile, diet, and physical activity around the time of conception.2 As these influences may change during early pregnancy, there is a need to characterize women before conception.
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