Review article

In utero programming of chronic disease

D. J. P. BARKER

Abstract

1.Many human fetuses have to adapt to a limited supply of nutrients. In doing so they permanently change their structure and metabolism.

2.These ‘programmed' changes may be the origins of a number of diseases in later life, including coronary heart disease and the related disorders stroke, diabetes and hypertension.

3.This review examines the evidence linking these diseases to fetal undernutrition and provides an overview of previous studies in this area.

  • coronary heart disease
  • diabetes
  • fetus
  • hypertension
  • programming
  • undernutrition