Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: the relevance to developing nations

Int Health. 2018 Mar 1;10(2):66-70. doi: 10.1093/inthealth/ihy006.


Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, are experiencing rapid increases in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which may not be fully explained by urbanization and associated traditional risk factors such as tobacco smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet or physical inactivity. In this commentary, we draw attention to the concept of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD), where environmental insults in early life can contribute to long-term risk of NCDs, the impact of which would be particularly important in LMICs where poverty, malnutrition, poor sanitation and infections are still prevalent.

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries*
  • Humans
  • Noncommunicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors