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Living with the Past: Evolution, Development, and Patterns of Disease

Science
17 Sep 2004
Vol 305, Issue 5691
pp. 1733-1736

Abstract

Epidemiological observations have led to the hypothesis that the risk of developing some chronic noncommunicable diseases in adulthood is influenced not only by genetic and adult life-style factors but also by environmental factors acting in early life. Research in evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and animal and human physiology provides support for this idea and suggests that environmental processes influencing the propensity to disease in adulthood operate during the periconceptual, fetal, and infant phases of life. This “developmental origins of health and disease” concept may have important biological, medical, and socioeconomic implications.

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M.A.H. is supported by the British Heart Foundation. We thank C. Pinal for her assistance on the manuscript.

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Published In

Science
Volume 305 | Issue 5691
17 September 2004

Submission history

Published in print: 17 September 2004

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Authors

Affiliations

Peter D. Gluckman*
Liggins Institute, University of Auckland and National Research Centre for Growth and Development, 2-6 Park Avenue, Grafton, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand.
Mark A. Hanson
Centre for Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, University of Southampton, Princess Anne Hospital Level F (887), Coxford Road, Southampton S016 5YA, UK.

Notes

*
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: [email protected]

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