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Medical News and Perspectives
September 15, 2004

Fetal Environment May Have Profound Long-term Consequences for Health

JAMA. 2004;292(11):1285-1286. doi:10.1001/jama.292.11.1285

Vancouver—The 9-month period of human fetal development sets the stage for an individual's start in life. It may also have profound effects on long-term health.

Even so, people often do not know even the most basic facts about their mother's pregnancy or simple data such as their birth weight. Yet this knowledge may give valuable insight into susceptibilities and health concerns throughout childhood and into adult years as well.

Because of this, scientists and physicians should keep records of such information and use it for research and clinical purposes, explained Judith Hall, MD, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, during the recent annual meeting of the Teratology Society.

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