Barker’s in utero hypothesis, Biology

Barker’s in Utero Hypothesis

The developmental origins of adult disease, often called as the ‘Barker hypothesis’ states that adverse influences early in development, particularly during the intrauterine life, can result in permanent changes in the physiology and metabolism of adults Such changes could result in increased disease risk in adulthood. This hypothesis originally evolved from observations made in some regions of England which had the highest rates of infant mortality in the early twentieth century. Follow-up of adults from the region decades later revealed that a number of them suffered from highest rates of mortality from coronary heart diseases. As the most commonly registered cause of infant death at the start of the twentieth century was low birth weight, these observations led to the hypothesis that low birth weight babies who survived infancy and childhood might be at increased risk of coronary heart disease later in life. These results have since been replicated in other studies from many different countries, some of them specifically focused on women.

In the 1980s, the ‘foetal origins of adult disease’ hypothesis got a new impetus when a link between the low birth weight and the incidence of cardiovascular disease was noted in many middle-aged men and women of U.K. Following this there has been an emerging body of evidence from physiological, clinical and epidemiological studies. They support the ‘Barker Hypothesis’ that what happens during foetal development may be as important as the genetic makeup in determining the health of the infant. This evidence has led to the understanding that malnutrition in utero carries a far reaching impact on the future health of the newborn.

The Barker hypothesis outlines a mechanism by which the undernourished foetus adapts to its environment by undergoing changes in the body’s structure, metabolism, hormonal sensitivity and physiology. While it thereby ensures the continued survival and growth of the foetus, there is also a compromise in the process. The disturbance in the nutrient balance results in intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). In developing countries, the major determinants of IUGR are identified as:
(i)  Inadequate nutritional status of the mother before conception;
(ii) Short stature of mothers indicating under-nutrition and infection during childhood;
(iii)Low gestational weight of the foetus/child primarily due to inadequate diet of the mother particularly during the pregnancy  period.

The causes of IUGR are also attributed to:
(i) Deep rooted causes related to status of women in society;
(ii) Access to quality health care;
(iii) Sanitation;
(iv) Household food security;
(v) Education;
(vi) Poverty.

The foetal origin of disease theory has thus major implications on how nutritional interventions targeting towards specifically identified women should be approached. Investment in intervention to improve foetal growth and development not only will decrease the prevalence of IUGR, but will also prevent negative health outcomes throughout the life cycle. However, the intergenerational and intra-generational effects of longstanding poverty and nutritional deprivation on maternal and foetal health cannot be addressed by narrowly focussing on single nutritional interventions during a few months in pregnancy. It needs a strategy that comprehensively addresses targeting at different points in the life cycle.

Posted Date: 12/16/2012 11:46:09 PM | Location : United States







Related Discussions:- Barker’s in utero hypothesis, Assignment Help, Ask Question on Barker’s in utero hypothesis, Get Answer, Expert's Help, Barker’s in utero hypothesis Discussions

Write discussion on Barker’s in utero hypothesis
Your posts are moderated
Related Questions
Increase in cardio-thoracic ratio is a relatively specific indicator of left ventricular end-diastolic volume. Left atrial enlargement is seen as double density shadow, lifting up

Q. What do you mean by Cytotaxonomu and biosustematics? Towards the end of the 19 th century and in the early years of the 20th century, botanists were faced with a problem of

Define Assessment of Chromium Status? No specific tests are currently available, which could help us to determine chromium status. Another reason being the chromium content of

Preputial prolapse This deformity is seen in some of the tropical zebu breeds but is not uncommon in European breeds. Initially, it begins as a temperory eversion of a small p

Urea molasses mineral block (UMMB) licks Development of urea molasses mineral block licks is another technology being increasingly used in several parts of India and such lick

Which of the following is a situation in which a closed-loop negative feedback system is converted to an open-loop system?  A disease that destroys all the A. V2 Receptors in a

Question 1 Discuss various methods of blood collection in a laboratory. Add a note on collection of blood by using vacutainers. Make a table indicating the color of vacutainer tub

Q. Requirement for nutrients? Ulcer is a form of wound which if not healed on time call get perforated and bleed. Adequate protein intake ensures synthesis of new tissues esse

Carbohydrate characteristic chemical features include: Select one: a. the potential to form multiple hydrogen bonds. b. the existence of one or more asymmetric centers.

1. In which layer of skin are follicles usually found? 2. How are sebaceous glands associated with hair follicles? 3. In which layer of skin are sweat glands usually located?