Adult sequelae of intrauterine growth restriction

Semin Perinatol. 2008 Jun;32(3):213-8. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2007.11.005.


Fetal intrauterine growth restriction has been associated with adult disease in both human epidemiologic studies and in animal models. In some cases, intrauterine deprivation programs the fetus to develop increased appetite and obesity, hypertension, and diabetes as an adult. Although the mechanisms responsible for fetal programming remain poorly understood, both anatomic and functional (cell signaling) changes have been described in affected individuals. In some animal models, aspects of fetal programming can be reversed postnatally; however, at the present time, the best strategy for avoiding the adult consequences of fetal growth restriction is prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects