In the Know: American Heart Month + DOHaD

American Heart Month serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize cardiovascular health—a cause that resonates deeply with the foundation of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease field! DOHaD evolved from early studies of the relationship between infant birth weight and death by ischemic heart disease. Epidemiologist Dr. David Barker’s hypothesis of this relationship spurred worldwide interest in how the early life environment has widespread consequences for later health. This research not only broadens our understanding of how early life experiences impact heart health but also underscores the importance of continued exploration in this field. 

There’s still much to learn about the developmental influences on cardiac function and cardiovascular disease. Teams like Chatterjee et al. are investigating influences of sex, prenatal hypoxia, and mitochondrial function in the hopes of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease in adults through improving offspring cardiac mitochondrial function. Learn more about their study here

As we celebrate American Heart Month and explore DOHaD research, it is paramount to acknowledge the historical disparities faced by women and people of color in both cardiovascular health and developmental origins of health and disease. The US DOHaD Society is committed to fostering an inclusive environment, amplifying underrepresented voices, and championing research that addresses the health challenges faced by these communities in hopes of advancing health equity and building a future where every individual can thrive.

The CDC’s American Heart Month Toolkits offer valuable insights, resources, and strategies to promote heart health awareness and education for healthcare and public health professionals as well as patients! Check out their toolkits here.

Interested in learning more about the origins of DOHaD? Check out this brief history published by Wadhwa et al.

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