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December 9, 2019

Perinatal Origins of Cardiovascular Health Disparities Across the Life Course

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 2Department of Population Health Science and Policy, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 3Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Science, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
  • 4The Blavatnik Family Women’s Health Research Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York
JAMA Pediatr. 2020;174(2):113-114. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.4616

The World Health Organization has declared a “life-course approach” to be essential for achieving the population health goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Because of increasing evidence linking intrauterine exposures with future disease risks, action must focus on preconception, pregnancy, fetal development, and the most vulnerable life stages.1 However, despite a growing recognition of the long-term effects of early-life stressors, little attention has been given to their potential role in the origin of health disparities across the life course. New evidence suggests that racial/ethnic disparities in cardiovascular disease (CVD) might be linked with similar disparities that exist in preterm birth. We hypothesize that perinatal stressors are important factors underlying both the development of CVD later in life and racial/ethnic disparities in CVD.2

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