Effect of fetal and infant malnutrition on metabolism in older age

Klimek, P., Leitner, M., Kautzky-Willer, A., & Thurner, S. (2014). Effect of fetal and infant malnutrition on metabolism in older age. Gerontology 60 (6) 502-507. 10.1159/000358874.

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BACKGROUND: While malnutrition is an important concern in the developing world, Western countries are experiencing a pandemic of obesity and metabolic diseases.

OBJECTIVE: This work reviews the current state of knowledge of the effects of malnutrition during early life on metabolism in older age.

METHODS: The impact of early-life determinants on diabetes and related metabolic diseases in later life is elucidated by three different methodological approaches. First, results from animal studies in dietary manipulation models are reviewed. Second, findings from epidemiological studies that often use natural experiments to determine the effects of famines on the health status of the population are discussed. Finally, the relation between maternal or childhood malnutrition and diabetes in adulthood is explored in a big-data study using the entire population of a country across a century.

RESULTS: We present overwhelming evidence that the maternal or early childhood nutritional status negatively affects both the short- and long-term health status and development of the offspring, thereby providing starting points to formulate intervention and prevention strategies. In particular, it was found that in the case of early-life exposure to famine, the risk of the offspring to develop type 2 diabetes in older age is up to 125% higher than without famine exposure.

CONCLUSION: Due to its inherent complexity, an understanding of the long-term effects of maternal and childhood malnutrition on metabolism in older age necessitates interdisciplinary and big-data approaches. Only then can we hope to prevent chronic diseases at their earliest beginning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fetal and infant development; Glucose tolerance; Intrauterine programming
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Bibliographic Reference: Gerontology; 60(6):502-507 (October 2014) (Published online 9 May 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:39
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10819

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