[Fetal programming: an underestimated risk factor for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases]

Rev Med Suisse. 2007 Oct 31;3(131):2483-4, 2486-8.
[Article in French]


Many epidemiological studies have shown a link between adverse events occuring during pregnancy and the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases later in life, a phenomenon called "fetal programming". The aim of this article is to summarize the knowledge in this field, and to present the main underlying mechanisms, among which epigenetics seems to play a determining role. This new knowledge might become particularly important for the practitioner and should prompt him to include an assessment of his patient's perinatal events in his daily practice, especially, in the light of the forthcoming availability of new drugs able to counteract the detrimental long term effects of such events.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Female
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Metabolic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Diseases / genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / physiopathology*
  • Risk Factors