Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: The report by Dr Neugebauer
and colleagues1 suggests that severe insults
to the developing brain in utero may increase the risk of antisocial behaviors.
This report is one of several studies suggesting that the amount and quality
of intrauterine nutrition may affect adult life (fetal origins hypothesis).
Much work in this general area has focused on the association between birth
weight (as a proxy for fetal nutrition) and the prevalence of chronic adult
conditions.2 From other studies of the
long-term effects of dramatic changes in the degree of prenatal nutrition
during the Dutch famine of 1944-1945, the timing of the insult rather than
the possible effects on birth weight may be the critical exposure of interest.3
Lumey LH. Does Prenatal Famine Cause Later Antisocial Behaviors?. JAMA. 2000;283(7):887-888. doi:10.1001/jama.283.7.882