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!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences