The aetiology of cardiovascular disease originally included two components: a genetic component and an environmental or lifestyle component. Increasing epidemiologic evidence has been accumulating during the last decades indicating the importance of a third component: the influence of the environment during foetal development. Poor living conditions resulted in a high infant mortality and influenced the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood despite better living conditions (A. Forsdahl. Br J Prev Soc Med 1977; 31, 91-95). An association between pre-natal growth pattern and the rate of death from cardiovascular disease in adulthood was reported (D.J. Barker, P.D. Winter, C. Osmond, B. Margetts & S.J. Simmonds. Lancet 1989; 2, 577-580). Men from Hartfordshire (UK), born between 1911 and 1930 were investigated. The investigations showed that men with the lowest weight at birth and at 1 year of age had the highest risks of death from cardiovascular disease (D.J. Barker, P.D. Winter, C. Osmond, B. Margetts & S.J. Simmonds. Lancet 1989; 2, 577-580). These findings suggested that factors in the perinatal environment could programme an individual for later risk of development of cardiovascular disease compared with someone born with a normal weight. Numerous studies have since confirmed these initial findings of an inverse relationship between early growth pattern and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.