Although cardiovascular disease has traditionally been viewed as a condition of aging individuals, increasing focus has turned to its developmental origins. Since birthweight has been related to cardiovascular disease risk, research into factors such as gravid conditions that affect fetal growth have grown. Associations between maternal diabetes and childhood obesity from sibling studies suggest a causal role but prospective studies of gestational diabetes remain mixed. Preeclampsia and increased offspring blood pressure has been consistently observed but evidence for other cardiovascular outcomes is lacking. While maternal obesity is associated with childhood obesity, causality remains unclear and paternal obesity should be investigated as an independent risk factor. Environmental chemical exposures in utero, particularly obesogens, are now emerging as another concern, as is conception by infertility treatment. Few studies have investigated subclinical measures of endothelial function or atherosclerosis and more research in these areas may help reveal the underlying pathogenesis.
Yeung, E. H., Robledo, C., Boghossian, N., Zhang, C., & Mendola, P. (2014). Developmental Origins of Cardiovascular Disease. Current epidemiology reports, 1(1), 9–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40471-014-0006-4
Current Epidemiology Reports
Population Health and Biostatistics