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Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: Integrating Environmental Influences.

Abstract

There are now robust data supporting the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) paradigm. This includes human and animal data focusing on nutrition or environmental chemicals during development. However, the term DOHaD has not been generally accepted as the official term to be used when one is concerned with understanding the pathophysiological basis for how environmental influences acting during early development influence the risk of later noncommunicable diseases. Similarly, there is no global research or public health program built around the DOHaD paradigm that encompasses all aspects of environment. To better inform the global health efforts aimed at addressing the growing epidemic of chronic noncommunicable diseases of environmental origin, we propose a two-pronged approach: first, to make it clear that the current concept of DOHaD comprehensively includes a range of environmental factors and their relevance to disease occurrence not just throughout the life span but potentially across several generations; and second, to initiate the discussion of how adoption of DOHaD can promote a more realistic, accurate, and integrative approach to understanding environmental disruption of developmental programming and better inform clinical and policy interventions.

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