Environmental Effect In Utero for Adult Disease

Hideoki Fukuoka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Worldwide, lifestyle-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are presently the leading causes of death and disability, and their incidences tend to increase. A lifestyle-related disease has been considered mainly to be induced by specific disease susceptibility genes and lifestyle after birth. However, the steep increase in the incidences of lifestyle-related diseases is difficult to be explained only by specific genes. Presently, a new theory has been proposed. Epidemiological and animal studies have disclosed the intimate links between malnutrition in the developmental stage and lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Such studies provide the foundation and framework for a new life science, that is, the theory of developmental origins of health and diseases (DOHaD). Although much research has been carried out to elucidate the putative concepts and mechanisms that relate specific exposures in early life to the risk of chronic diseases, a complete picture still remains obscure. Historically, the world has experienced severe famines, for example, the Dutch Winter Famine, the Chinese Great Leap Forward Famine, the Leningrad Siege and the Biafran Famine. These famines showed that malnutrition in utero poses higher risks of lifestyle-related diseases. The main research point has been focused on periconceptional and perinatal undernutrition and specific nutrient deficiencies. However, presently, the number of people who are overweight and obese has been increasing. Therefore, perinatal overnutrition and specific nutrient excesses should also be examined. In addition, psychological stress, environmental chemicals and artificial reproductive techniques are other important research fields in DOHaD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalNihon eiseigaku zasshi. Japanese journal of hygiene
Volume71
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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