Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Epigenetics and early life origins of chronic noncommunicable diseases

TitleEpigenetics and early life origins of chronic noncommunicable diseases
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWang, G, Walker, SO, Hong, X, Bartell, TR, Wang, X
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Date PublishedFeb
ISBN Number1054139X (ISSN)
Accession Number23332566
Keywords4,4' isopropylidenediphenol, Addiction, adipogenesis, adiponectin, allele, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, biogenesis, chaperone, child nutrition, chromatin assembly and disassembly, chronic disease, developing country, DNA methylation, dopamine 1 receptor, dopamine 2 receptor, Early life origin, environmental exposure, environmental factor, epigenetics, gene expression, genetic association, genetic susceptibility, glucose metabolism, health care cost, health practitioner, Health Promotion, heredity, heritability, histone H3, histone modification, human, interleukin 10, large for gestational age, leptin, low birth weight, maternal nutrition, medical research, melanocortin 4 receptor, mental disease, Mental Health, nonhuman, nutritional deficiency, Obesity, polybrominated diphenyl ether, polychlorinated biphenyl, pregnancy diabetes mellitus, prenatal exposure, priority journal, proopiomelanocortin, Quality of Life, retinoid X receptor alpha, review, Risk Assessment, sex difference, somatomedin B, transcription factor FosB

In light of the increasing threats of chronic noncommunicable diseases in developing countries, the growing recognition of the early life origins of chronic disease, and innovative breakthroughs in biomedical research and technology, it is imperative that we harness cutting-edge data to improve health promotion and maintenance. It is well recognized that chronic diseases are complex traits affected by a wide range of environmental and genetic factors; however, the role of epigenetic factors, particularly with regard to early life origins, remains largely unexplored. Given the unique properties of the epigenome - functionality during critical time windows, such as the intrauterine period, heritability, and reversibility - enhancing our understanding of epigenetic mechanisms may offer new opportunities for the development of novel early prediction and prevention paradigms. This may present an unparalleled opportunity to offer maternal and child health professionals important tools with the translational value to predict, detect, and prevent disease at an early age, long before its clinical occurrence, and as such, break lifelong and transgenerational cycles of disease. In doing so, modern technology can be leveraged to make great contributions to population health, quality of life, and reducing the burdensome economic costs of noncommunicable diseases in developing countries. © 2013 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. All rights reserved.