Female's heart attack risk may begin in the womb

10:30AM, Nov 30th 2011

Your daughter's risk of developing heart disease later in life may increase before they are even born, finds a new Dutch study.

Your daughter's likelihood of developing heart disease may increase before they are even born, finds a new Dutch study.

Researchers from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands found that women's heart attack risk increased more than eight times if they had certain changes in their genes, the US MSNBC reported.

Previous research has found that these changes occur due to stress in the womb, such as not getting enough nutrients or cigarette smoke, and supports the idea that a mother can directly influence her child's risk of disease through unhealthy practices during pregnancy.

"Health really starts in the womb," said study researcher Bas Heijmans, a molecular epidemiologist at the centre.

VIEW GALLERY:The worst celebrity parents

In the study, researchers looked at 1654 participants aged 70 to 82 who hadn't had a heart attack. After three years, 122 of these people suffered a heart attack and their DNA was compared to 126 individuals of a similar age who had not suffered a heart attack.

During stresses during the in utero environment, six genes undergo what's called epigenetic changes, where a "chemical tag" is added to a section of DNA. Researchers found that two of these genes were associated with an increased risk of heart attack. Women with a tag on one gene were 2.8 times more likely to have a heart attack, and women with a tag on both genes were 8.6 times more likely to have a heart attack.

No changes in these genes were found to increase the heart attack risk for men.

However, Heijmans said further studies still need to be done with a wider range of age groups and to determine exactly what experiences participants have during the prenatal period to influence their genes.

The findings were published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

VIEW GALLERY:Pregnancy do's and don'ts

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy šŸ‘

    mother and baby We can't help but smile every time we see this happy little bubba and his gorgeous Mama pop up in our feed! Follow Bobby and his mum Sophie at @theyoungmummy šŸ‘

    More from the team
  • Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    mother and baby Christmas is such a special time of year. Ignite the magic and joy of Christmas in your baby, toddler or child with our list of favourite children's Christmas books. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Christmas books" to see our picks! #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    mother and baby It's official! We're starting our Christmas countdown. Are you excited for the silly season? #MandBxmas

    More from the team
  • QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    mother and baby QUESTION: What is the age gap between your kids? Jessica Simpson @jessicasimpson has her hands full with her daughter, Maxwell and son, Ace only 13 months apart.

    More from the team
  • Being pregnant in Summer isn't all bikinis and floaty dresses. Today we share 10 tips to look & feel great during summertime when you've got a baby on board. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "pregnant summer" or buy the latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    mother and baby Being pregnant in Summer isn't all bikinis and floaty dresses. Today we share 10 tips to look & feel great during summertime when you've got a baby on board. Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "pregnant summer" or buy the latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    More from the team
  • Grab your copy of our latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    mother and baby Grab your copy of our latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style on sale today!

    More from the team
  • Do you find yourself yelling at your kids when they don't listen to you or do as you ask? We learned this week that this creates a bad habit as your children learn to only respond to you when you yell - so the result is that they ignore you the rest of the time! For 7 steps on how to avoid yelling, visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "yelling".

    mother and baby Do you find yourself yelling at your kids when they don't listen to you or do as you ask? We learned this week that this creates a bad habit as your children learn to only respond to you when you yell - so the result is that they ignore you the rest of the time! For 7 steps on how to avoid yelling, visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "yelling".

    More from the team
  • Baby news for our gorgeous Asher Keddie, who is expecting her first bub with her hubby.
On her pregnancy cravings she revealed to news.com.au that; ā€œIā€™m not big on cravings but anything dairy for some reason. I want lots of cheese and lots of pistachios.ā€ Congrats Asher!

    mother and baby Baby news for our gorgeous Asher Keddie, who is expecting her first bub with her hubby. On her pregnancy cravings she revealed to news.com.au that; ā€œIā€™m not big on cravings but anything dairy for some reason. I want lots of cheese and lots of pistachios.ā€ Congrats Asher!

    More from the team
  • What's with kids relentlessly calling out, "Muuuummm!" from distant rooms across the house?!

    mother and baby What's with kids relentlessly calling out, "Muuuummm!" from distant rooms across the house?!

    More from the team
  • Postnatal depression is not black and white. It can be hard to recognise and to talk about. Share a photo today with a black and white filter and hashtag #bePNDaware to raise awareness for PND and get people talking @pandanational

    mother and baby Postnatal depression is not black and white. It can be hard to recognise and to talk about. Share a photo today with a black and white filter and hashtag #bePNDaware to raise awareness for PND and get people talking @pandanational

    More from the team