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Latent Effects of Prenatal Malnutrition on Adult Health: The Example of Schizophrenia

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Abstract:

It is well established that malnutrition in children has adverse effects on development. Only recently, however, has it become possible to examine the full scope of adverse effects of malnutrition across the life course, which would include latent effects of fetal or childhood malnutrition on health and disease in adult life. We review here a series of studies which have linked early prenatal famine to the risk of schizophrenia in the offspring. Thus we aim to draw attention to the need to look beyond the concurrent effects of malnutrition and consider also the effects that may become apparent decades later.

Keywords: famine; fetal malnutrition; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1196/annals.1425.024

Affiliations: 1: Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY, USA 2: Department of Mental Health, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, Scotland 3: Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Shanghai, China, and Shanghai JiaoTong University, Shanghai, China

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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