J Mol Cell Cardiol 2015 Jun 12;83:122-30. Epub 2014 Dec 12.
University of Cambridge, Metabolic Research Laboratories and MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit, Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge CB2 0QQ, United Kingdom.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, affecting both developed and developing countries. Whilst it is well recognized that our risk of CVD can be determined by the interaction between our genetics and lifestyle, this only partly explains the variability at the population level. Based on these well-known risk factors, for many years, intervention and primary prevention strategies have focused on modifying lifestyle factors in adulthood. However, research shows that our risk of CVD can be pre-determined by our early life environment and this area of research is known as the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease. The aim of this review is to evaluate our current understanding of mechanisms underlying the programming of CVD. This article is part of a special issue entitled CV Aging.