The risk was higher—almost 60 percent—in the first 30 days after birth. It is the most comprehensive study to date to show that a mother's short stature is associated with poor health in her offspring.
The study appears in the April 21, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
"Height is a useful and stable marker of cumulative health," said S.V. Subramanian, senior author of the paper and associate professor in the department of society, human development, and health at HSPH. "It is an indicator of the nutritional environment a person was exposed to during childhood, which shapes both the mother's attained height and subsequent health as well as her offspring's chances of survival or ability to grow in infancy and childhood."
Subramanian and his co-authors, Emre Özaltin, a doctoral candidate in the department of global health and population at HSPH and lead author of the study, and Kenneth Hill, professor of the practice of global health at HSPH, analyzed health surveys from 54 low- to middle-income countries that included more than 2.6 million children and more than 750,000 mothers. The researchers also found that a 1-centimeter—less than 0.4 inch— increase in height reduced the risk of child mortality by 1.2 percent. The same increase in height reduced the risk of underweight and growth failure by more than 3 percent.
"Health needs to be viewed not only as a phenomenon that spans one's life, but one that also has a multigenerational aspect," said Özaltin. "We believe that interventions to reduce child mortality and growth failure have not recognized the intergenerational transmission of poor health," added Subramanian.
The key implication of this research, said the authors, is that targeted nutrition programs, especially for younger girls, are of prime importance in ensuring a healthy population of adult women with beneficial returns for their own health as well as the health of their offspring.
No direct funding source supported this study. Subramanian is supported by a career development grant from the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
"Association of Maternal Stature with Offspring Mortality, Underweight, and Stunting in Low- to Middle-Income Countries." Emre Özaltin, Kenneth Hill, and S.V. Subramanian. Journal of the American Medical Association, April 21, 2010.
Visit the HSPH website for the latest news, press releases and multimedia offerings.
Harvard School of Public Health (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu ) is dedicated to advancing the public's health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children's health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights. For more information on the school visit: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu
Todd Datz | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering