The process whereby early exposure to an adverse environment has an influence on later life outcomes has been called ‘early life programming’. While epidemiological evidence for this has been available for decades, only in recent years have the mechanisms, in particular epigenetic modifications, for this process begun to be elucidated. We discuss the evidence for early life programming, the possible mechanisms, how effects may be transmitted across generations, and conclude by looking at some examples relevant to general paediatrics.
- Paediatric Practice
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