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Title: Early growth and coronary heart disease
Author: Kounali, Daphne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3602 1434
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2006
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The proposal that nutrition is a central stimulus for programming of susceptibility to adult disease is the motivation for the present investigation. We use the weight and height growth trajectories from the first two years of life of 4630 men who were born between 1934 and 1944 at the Helsinki University Central Hospital and their records of death and hospital admissions. We consider the problem of associating early growth in weight and height with coronary heart disease (CHD) occurrence later in life as a means of understanding the natural history of the disease. We proceed with estimation by employing mixed effects modelling. We perform statistical inference using the Bayesian approach and proceed with computations using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methodology. We reproduce known associations of increased CHD risk with low socio-economic status, low birth weight, thinness, small head circumference and reduced average weight growth and increased placental weight and maternal body mass index. However, the associated effect estimates are accompanied by considerable uncertainty and are sensitive to conditioning on social status with the exception of thinness at birth and maternal body mass index. We find modest but systematic differences in the weight attained between these two groups at birth and after the first year of life in favour of the CHD-free group. We do not find any evidence to support a deletirious effect of accelerated postnatal growth on later CHD health. On the contrary, we find that children who later suffered from CHD had lower weight gains at two months and lower weight gains according to their height after the third month. We conclude that nutrition related factors underlying human growth as well as CHD aetiology could explain these associations and support the plausibility of the fetal origins hypothesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available