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
  • The pants suit in itself was next level, but Amal just keeps getting better. What a stunning bride. #amalalamuddin #georgeclooney #weddingdress #love #weddingoftheyear #babiessoonplease

    mother and baby The pants suit in itself was next level, but Amal just keeps getting better. What a stunning bride. #amalalamuddin #georgeclooney #weddingdress #love #weddingoftheyear #babiessoonplease

    More from the team
  • Love this shot of our publisher, group brand integration manager and acting editor from the Mother & Baby Awards today. Thanks to our sponsors @colessupermarkets for being such great partners xx #mbawards #mbawards14 #motherandbabyawards #greatday #oscarsofthebabyindustry

    mother and baby Love this shot of our publisher, group brand integration manager and acting editor from the Mother & Baby Awards today. Thanks to our sponsors @colessupermarkets for being such great partners xx #mbawards #mbawards14 #motherandbabyawards #greatday #oscarsofthebabyindustry

    More from the team
  • Anndddd, it's over for another year! What a day. What a team. Feel so very privileged to work with such talented and amazing women xxx #mbawards #mbawards14 #motherandbabyawards #event #sydney #sydneyharbourbridge #deckhouse

    mother and baby Anndddd, it's over for another year! What a day. What a team. Feel so very privileged to work with such talented and amazing women xxx #mbawards #mbawards14 #motherandbabyawards #event #sydney #sydneyharbourbridge #deckhouse

    More from the team
  • You are always so happy, Sophie!!! What's not to smile about celebrating the Mother & Baby Awards with our fab sponsors from @colessupermarkets #mbawards #mbawards14 #motherandbabyawards

    mother and baby You are always so happy, Sophie!!! What's not to smile about celebrating the Mother & Baby Awards with our fab sponsors from @colessupermarkets #mbawards #mbawards14 #motherandbabyawards

    More from the team
  • Love a good table installation! Couldn't have done it without help from @thepartyparlour #motherandbabyawards #mbawards #mbawards14 #flowers #giftbsgs

    mother and baby Love a good table installation! Couldn't have done it without help from @thepartyparlour #motherandbabyawards #mbawards #mbawards14 #flowers #giftbsgs

    More from the team
  • Table settings are coming together! Exciting! @colessupermarkets #motherandbabyawards #mbawards #excited #springblooms #flowers #sophielegiraffe @deckhousewoolwich

    mother and baby Table settings are coming together! Exciting! @colessupermarkets #motherandbabyawards #mbawards #excited #springblooms #flowers #sophielegiraffe @deckhousewoolwich

    More from the team
  • On site @deckhousewoolwich and getting ready for a fabulous day ahead #motherandbabyawards #mbawards #sydney #excited #whowillwin #stunningvenue #deckhouse

    mother and baby On site @deckhousewoolwich and getting ready for a fabulous day ahead #motherandbabyawards #mbawards #sydney #excited #whowillwin #stunningvenue #deckhouse

    More from the team
  • How ADORABLE is this shot and romper from @alexandant Makes us want to eat icecream!!! But the best part is those baby thighs. Love love love!!! #icecream #baby #spring #supercute #romper

    mother and baby How ADORABLE is this shot and romper from @alexandant Makes us want to eat icecream!!! But the best part is those baby thighs. Love love love!!! #icecream #baby #spring #supercute #romper

    More from the team
  • Gift bags coming together with help from our friends @thepartyparlour #motherandbabyaus #motherandbabyawards @colessupermarkets

    mother and baby Gift bags coming together with help from our friends @thepartyparlour #motherandbabyaus #motherandbabyawards @colessupermarkets

    More from the team
  • The set up begins for tomorrow's Mother & Baby Awards ceremony. Just adore these baby feet cookies from @sweetnessthepatisserie #motherandbabyaus #motherandbabyawards #eventsetup #oscarsofthebabyindustry #excited #whowillwin

    mother and baby The set up begins for tomorrow's Mother & Baby Awards ceremony. Just adore these baby feet cookies from @sweetnessthepatisserie #motherandbabyaus #motherandbabyawards #eventsetup #oscarsofthebabyindustry #excited #whowillwin

    More from the team