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Study finds link between small birth size and changes to the cardiovascular system

23 July 2008

Researchers have found the first evidence that smaller size at birth is associated with specific alterations in the functioning of the heart and circulation in children and that these changes differ between boys and girls. The research by Dr Alexander Jones and colleagues, published online in Europe’s leading cardiology journal, the European Heart Journal, adds to the evidence that adverse environments experienced by the baby before birth and indicated by low birth weight, can cause long-term changes in the heart and blood vessels, leading to heart and blood vessel disease in later life. So far, the mechanisms involved have been poorly understood, and there has been little research into the alterations that might occur during childhood.

From the paper
Sex-specific programming of cardiovascular physiology in children
Alexander Jones, Alessandro Beda, Clive Osmond, Keith M. Godfrey, David M. Simpson, and David I. W. Phillips

Published in European Heart Journal, Advanced Access, 23rd July 2008

Read the press release online

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