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
  • Wise words!
  • Dreaming of an island holiday? Dream no more! We're giving away a $10,000 family holiday to stay at Fiji Resort & Spa managed by the Hilton. Click on the link on our profile to enter or visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Fiji Holiday". Good luck! 🌴🌴🌴

    mother and baby Dreaming of an island holiday? Dream no more! We're giving away a $10,000 family holiday to stay at Fiji Resort & Spa managed by the Hilton. Click on the link on our profile to enter or visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Fiji Holiday". Good luck! 🌴🌴🌴

    More from the team
  • The latest issue of Mother & Baby magazine is on sale now! You can buy your copy in supermarkets, newsagents or grab a digital copy online. Click the link in our profile for details. #motherandbaby

    mother and baby The latest issue of Mother & Baby magazine is on sale now! You can buy your copy in supermarkets, newsagents or grab a digital copy online. Click the link in our profile for details. #motherandbaby

    More from the team
  • This photo of baby Sophia - daughter of @katewaterhouse7 - meeting Santa for the first time is so sweet. We'd love to see your Santa photos! Tag us with the hashtag #mandbxmas

    mother and baby This photo of baby Sophia - daughter of @katewaterhouse7 - meeting Santa for the first time is so sweet. We'd love to see your Santa photos! Tag us with the hashtag #mandbxmas

    More from the team
  • Sven cookies for Christmas anyone? We love Frozen and we know your kids do too!

    mother and baby Sven cookies for Christmas anyone? We love Frozen and we know your kids do too!

    More from the team
  • Whenever we say we're heading  to bed we get distracted by these jobs around the house and MORE! #motherandbaby #mumfact

    mother and baby Whenever we say we're heading to bed we get distracted by these jobs around the house and MORE! #motherandbaby #mumfact

    More from the team
  • As if mums need something else to feel guilty about, but new research has found a link between mothers' employment and their preschoolers' BMI.

For the full article visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "kids bmi"

    mother and baby As if mums need something else to feel guilty about, but new research has found a link between mothers' employment and their preschoolers' BMI. For the full article visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "kids bmi"

    More from the team
  • Talking today on the web about finding it difficult to hear bad news stories to do with children. "Since having my own children, this is my consistent reaction to confronting news stories involving children. I've become overly-sensitive to watching and listening to the news."
Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Disturbing News"

    mother and baby Talking today on the web about finding it difficult to hear bad news stories to do with children. "Since having my own children, this is my consistent reaction to confronting news stories involving children. I've become overly-sensitive to watching and listening to the news." Visit motherandbaby.com.au and search "Disturbing News"

    More from the team
  • One day we shall all sleep in again. One day.

    mother and baby One day we shall all sleep in again. One day.

    More from the team
  • 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 πŸ‘

    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 πŸ‘

    More from the team