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Title: Developmental influences on cardiovascular structure and function in childhood assessed using magnetic resonance imaging
Author: Bryant, Jennifer
ISNI:       0000 0004 5916 7112
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2015
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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. The incidence of CVD often cannot be explained by adult lifestyle factors; epidemiological research suggests a link between the early developmental environment, and the risk of CVD in later life. The aim of this research was to assess the influence of the early developmental environment on childhood cardiovascular structure and function measured at the age of 9 years. MRI measures of left ventricular cardiac volumes and mass, and aortic stiffness (aortic root distensibility and aortic pulse wave velocity), a recognised marker of cardiovascular risk, were developed and data acquired on subjects in a mother-offspring cohort. Lower maternal oily fish consumption and lower maternal vitamin D status in late pregnancy were associated with increased child’s arterial stiffness. Lower maternal educational attainment, poor self-reported maternal health, and higher levels of self-perceived maternal stress were associated with smaller child’s left ventricular volumes and mass. The findings suggest an effect of maternal nutrition on vascular development in utero and on arterial structure in the offspring. The findings also suggest that maternal health and wellbeing has an effect on cardiac structural development. The effect sizes were modest, but even small favourable changes to childhood cardiovascular structure and function may have substantial beneficial consequences for cardiovascular risk later in the life course. Lifestyle interventions to improve educational attainment and nutrition literacy in young women may reduce cardiovascular risk in the next generation.
Supervisor: Godfrey, Keith ; Hanson, Mark ; Peebles, Charles Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available