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Epigenetics and child health: basic principles
  1. A Groom,
  2. H R Elliott,
  3. N D Embleton,
  4. C L Relton
  1. Institute for Ageing and Health, Newcastle University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Caroline Laura Relton, Sir James Spence Institute, Newcastle University, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE1 4LP, UK; c.l.relton{at}


Epigenetic mechanisms are believed to play an important role in disease, development and ageing with early life representing a window of particular epigenomic plasticity. The knowledge upon which these claims are based is beginning to expand. This review summarises evidence pointing to the determinants of epigenetic patterns, their juxtaposition at the interface of the environment, their influence on gene function and the relevance of this information to child health.

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  • Funding AG is funded by the BBSRC (BB/F007981/1) and HRE is supported by the Newcastle NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.