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dutch hunger winter

Heidi P Fransen, Petra H M Peeters, Joline W J Beulens, Jolanda M A Boer, G Ardine de Wit, N Charlotte Onland-Moret, Yvonne T van der Schouw, H Bas Bueno-de-Mesquita, Jeljer Hoekstra, Sjoerd G Elias, Anne M May
BACKGROUND: A healthy diet is important for normal growth and development. Exposure to undernutrition during important developmental periods such as childhood and adolescence can have effects later in life. Inhabitants of the west of the Netherlands were exposed to severe undernutrition during the famine in the last winter of the second World War (1944-1945). OBJECTIVE: We investigated if exposure of women to the Dutch famine during childhood and adolescence was associated with an unhealthy lifestyle later in life...
2016: PloS One
Oxana P Rotar, Ekaterina V Moguchaya, Maria A Boyarinova, Asilat S Alieva, Alexander V Orlov, Elena Y Vasilieva, Victoria A Yudina, Sergey V Anisimov, Alexandra O Konradi
BACKGROUND: Poor nutrition during the early stages of human development can lead to rare pathological conditions in adult life. The best-known and most severe historical cases of famine include the Dutch 'Hunger Winter,' the Finnish famine, the Chinese Great famine, and the siege of Leningrad. The siege of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) was one of the longest in history, lasting 872 days, from September 8, 1941 to January 27, 1944. There were 670,000 registered deaths of the civil population, in which 97% died due to starvation...
October 2015: Biopreservation and Biobanking
Peter Ekamper, Frans van Poppel, Aryeh D Stein, Govert E Bijwaard, L H Lumey
Nutritional conditions in early life may affect adult health, but prior studies of mortality have been limited to small samples. We evaluated the relationship between pre-/perinatal famine exposure during the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944-1945 and mortality through age 63 years among 41,096 men born in 1944-1947 and examined at age 18 years for universal military service in the Netherlands. Of these men, 22,952 had been born around the time of the Dutch famine in 6 affected cities; the remainder served as unexposed controls...
February 15, 2015: American Journal of Epidemiology
Robert S Scholte, Gerard J van den Berg, Maarten Lindeboom
The Dutch Hunger Winter (1944/45) is the most-studied famine in the literature on long-run effects of malnutrition in utero. Its temporal and spatial demarcations are clear, it was severe, it was not anticipated, and nutritional conditions in society were favorable and stable before and after the famine. This is the first study to analyze effects of in utero exposure on labor market outcomes and hospitalization late in life, and the first to use register data covering the full Dutch population to examine long-run effects of this famine...
January 2015: Journal of Health Economics
Elmar W Tobi, Jelle J Goeman, Ramin Monajemi, Hongcang Gu, Hein Putter, Yanju Zhang, Roderick C Slieker, Arthur P Stok, Peter E Thijssen, Fabian Müller, Erik W van Zwet, Christoph Bock, Alexander Meissner, L H Lumey, P Eline Slagboom, Bastiaan T Heijmans
Periconceptional diet may persistently influence DNA methylation levels with phenotypic consequences. However, a comprehensive assessment of the characteristics of prenatal malnutrition-associated differentially methylated regions (P-DMRs) is lacking in humans. Here we report on a genome-scale analysis of differential DNA methylation in whole blood after periconceptional exposure to famine during the Dutch Hunger Winter. We show that P-DMRs preferentially occur at regulatory regions, are characterized by intermediate levels of DNA methylation and map to genes enriched for differential expression during early development...
2014: Nature Communications
H S Kahn, A D Stein, L H Lumey
The associations between fetal environment and diabetes risk are likely mediated by the offspring's diminished pancreatic β-cell function or reduced insulin sensitivity. Our ability to distinguish between these mechanisms is impeded by the lack of markers describing an individual's gestational environment. Fingerprints, however, are permanently fixed in the first half of gestation, and increased values of a dermatoglyphic marker that contrasts fingerprint ridge counts between the thumbs and fifth fingers (Md15) have been linked to type 2 diabetes...
October 2010: Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Chittaranjan S Yajnik
The conventional aetiological model of obesity and diabetes proposes a genetic predisposition and a precipitation by an unhealthy adult lifestyle. This hypothesis was challenged by David Barker who proposed that the intrauterine environment influences the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The original idea was based on fetal undernutrition because lower birth weight was associated with a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease. However, soon it was clear that the association was U shaped, and that the increased risk in large babies was driven by maternal obesity and diabetes...
2014: Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism
Colinda C J M Simons, Piet A van den Brandt, Coen D A Stehouwer, Manon van Engeland, Matty P Weijenberg
BACKGROUND: We investigated body size, physical activity, and early-life energy restriction in relation to colorectal tumors with and without methylated insulin-like growth factor-binding protein (IGFBP) genes, which are putative tumor-suppressor genes. METHODS: We determined IGFBP2, IGFBP3, and IGFBP7 promoter CpG island hypermethylation in tumors of 733 colorectal cancer cases from the Netherlands Cohort Study (N = 120,852). Participants self-reported lifestyle and dietary factors at baseline in 1986...
September 2014: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention
P Ekamper, F van Poppel, A D Stein, L H Lumey
OBJECTIVES: To quantify the relation between prenatal famine exposure and adult mortality, taking into account mediating effects of intermediary life conditions. DESIGN: Historical follow-up study. SETTING: The Dutch famine (Hunger Winter) of 1944-1945 which occurred towards the end of WWII in occupied Netherlands. STUDY POPULATION: From 408,015 Dutch male births born 1944-1947, examined for military service at age 18, we selected for follow-up all men born at the time of the famine in six affected cities in the Western Netherlands (n=25,283), and a sample of unexposed time (n=10,667) and place (n=9087) controls...
October 2014: Social Science & Medicine
F Yarde, F J M Broekmans, K M van der Pal-de Bruin, Y Schönbeck, E R te Velde, A D Stein, L H Lumey
STUDY QUESTION: Is there an association between acute prenatal famine exposure or birthweight and subsequent reproductive performance and age at menopause? SUMMARY ANSWER: No association was found between intrauterine famine exposure and reproductive performance, but survival analysis showed that women exposed in utero were 24% more likely to experience menopause at any age. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Associations between prenatal famine and subsequent reproductive performance have been examined previously with inconsistent results...
December 2013: Human Reproduction
Lars Olov Bygren
Health consequences of relative or absolute poverty constitute a definitive area of study in social medicine. As demonstrated in the extreme example of the Dutch Hunger Winter from 1944 to 1945, prenatal hunger can lead to adult schizophrenia and depression. A Norwegian study showed how childhood poverty resulted in a heightened risk of myocardial infarction in adulthood. In England, a study of extended impaired prenatal nutrition indicated three different types of increased cardiovascular risk at older ages...
2013: Annual Review of Public Health
Shige Song
The current study examined the long-term trend in sex ratio at birth between 1929 and 1982 using retrospective birth histories of 310 101 Chinese women collected in a large, nationally representative sample survey in 1982. The study identified an abrupt decline in sex ratio at birth between April 1960, over a year after the Great Leap Forward Famine began, and October 1963, approximately 2 years after the famine ended, followed by a compensatory rise between October 1963 and July 1965. These findings support the adaptive sex ratio adjustment hypothesis that mothers in good condition are more likely to give birth to sons, whereas mothers in poor condition are more likely to give birth to daughters...
July 22, 2012: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Lars H Breimer, Torbjörn K Nilsson
It is now 30 years since the first publications stating that supplementation with folate could prevent neural tube defects appeared and 20 years since the definitive data, including prevention of other birth defects. Since then epidemiological studies and animal experiments have identified folate as a molecule at the crossroads of neural development. Fortification of food has greatly reduced the incidence of spina bifida. Much interest has focussed on long-term sequelae in children born to mothers severely deprived of folate (and other nutrients) such as during the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1944 and in poor parts of the world...
May 2012: Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation
Motoko Maekawa, Yuji Owada, Takeo Yoshikawa
Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental disorder that afflicts about 1% of the population worldwide. Despite intensive, multifaceted research, its exact etiology remains elusive. Epidemiological data shows that when pregnant mothers experienced malnutrition or famine (e.g. the Dutch Hunger Winter of 1994-1945 and the Chinese famine of 1959-1961), the risk of schizophrenia in their children increased by two fold. This fact could be considered in the context of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) or fetal programming...
2011: Current Pharmaceutical Design
Laura C Schulz
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 28, 2010: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Aryeh D Stein, Henry S Kahn, L H Lumey
OBJECTIVES: Digit lengths, and in particular the ratio of the 2nd (2D) to 4th (4D) digit (2D:4D), are stable in adulthood and have been linked to characteristics thought to have developmental origins, but little research has focused on early life determinants of these measures. We examined whether exposure to acute famine during specific periods of gestation was associated with 2D, 4D or the 2D:4D ratio. METHODS: We studied men and women (1) born in one of three hospitals in western Netherlands whose mothers were exposed to a limited period of famine immediately prior to or during the pregnancy (n = 337); (2) born in the same hospitals to mothers not exposed to famine during the pregnancy (n = 271) or same-sex siblings of individuals in Groups 1 and 2 (n = 295)...
November 2010: American Journal of Human Biology: the Official Journal of the Human Biology Council
L H Lumey, Aryeh D Stein, Henry S Kahn, J A Romijn
BACKGROUND: Many studies in humans have related birth weight to lipid profiles in adulthood. Fewer have estimated associations directly attributable to maternal nutrition during pregnancy. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine whether famine exposure during gestation is associated with a more atherogenic profile in adult offspring. DESIGN: In 2003-2005, we studied 1) 359 singleton men and women born between January 1945 and March 1946 in clinics in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Leiden whose mothers were exposed to the famine during pregnancy; 2) 299 singletons born in the same 3 institutions during 1943 or 1947; and 3) 313 unexposed same-sex siblings of the above individuals...
June 2009: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Shige Song, Wei Wang, Peifeng Hu
Using data from large scale, nationally representative sample surveys, we tested the hypothesis that prenatal exposure to famine increases schizophrenia risk at adulthood by studying the Great Leap Forward Famine in China (1959-1961). Our results show that, in the urban population, being conceived and born during the famine increased the risk of developing schizophrenia at early adulthood as compared to both the pre-famine and post-famine cohorts. In the rural population, however, the post-famine cohort had the highest risk of developing schizophrenia, and there was virtually no difference in schizophrenia risk between the pre-famine and the famine cohort...
April 2009: Social Science & Medicine
Ming-Qing Xu, Wen-Sheng Sun, Ben-Xiu Liu, Guo-Yin Feng, Lan Yu, Lawrence Yang, Guang He, Pak Sham, Ezra Susser, David St Clair, Lin He
OBJECTIVE: Evidence from the 1944-1995 Dutch Hunger Winter and the 1959-1961 Chinese famines suggests that those conceived or in early gestation during famines, have a 2-fold increased risk of developing schizophrenia in adult life. We tested the hypothesis in a second Chinese population and also determined whether risk differed between urban and rural areas. METHOD: The risk of schizophrenia was examined in Liuzhou prefecture of Guangxi autonomous region. Rates were compared among those conceived before, during, and after the famine years...
May 2009: Schizophrenia Bulletin
Bastiaan T Heijmans, Elmar W Tobi, Aryeh D Stein, Hein Putter, Gerard J Blauw, Ezra S Susser, P Eline Slagboom, L H Lumey
Extensive epidemiologic studies have suggested that adult disease risk is associated with adverse environmental conditions early in development. Although the mechanisms behind these relationships are unclear, an involvement of epigenetic dysregulation has been hypothesized. Here we show that individuals who were prenatally exposed to famine during the Dutch Hunger Winter in 1944-45 had, 6 decades later, less DNA methylation of the imprinted IGF2 gene compared with their unexposed, same-sex siblings. The association was specific for periconceptional exposure, reinforcing that very early mammalian development is a crucial period for establishing and maintaining epigenetic marks...
November 4, 2008: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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