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Change in paternal grandmothers' early food supply influenced cardiovascular mortality of the female grandchildren
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden. (Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden.
Department of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Demographic Data Base. (Arcum)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7439-002X
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2014 (English)In: BMC Genetics, ISSN 1471-2156, E-ISSN 1471-2156, Vol. 15, 12- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: This study investigated whether large fluctuations in food availability during grandparents' early development influenced grandchildren's cardiovascular mortality. We reported earlier that changes in availability of food - from good to poor or from poor to good - during intrauterine development was followed by a double risk of sudden death as an adult, and that mortality rate can be associated with ancestors' childhood availability of food. We have now studied transgenerational responses (TGR) to sharp differences of harvest between two consecutive years' for ancestors of 317 people in Overkalix, Sweden. Results: The confidence intervals were very wide but we found a striking TGR. There was no response in cardiovascular mortality in the grandchild from sharp changes of early exposure, experienced by three of the four grandparents (maternal grandparents and paternal grandfathers). If, however, the paternal grandmother up to puberty lived through a sharp change in food supply from one year to next, her sons' daughters had an excess risk for cardiovascular mortality (HR 2.69, 95% confidence interval 1.05-6.92). Selection or learning and imitation are unlikely explanations. X-linked epigenetic inheritance via spermatozoa seemed to be plausible, with the transmission, limited to being through the father, possibly explained by the sex differences in meiosis. Conclusion: The shock of change in food availability seems to give specific transgenerational responses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2014. Vol. 15, 12- p.
Keyword [en]
Epidemiology, Food change, Environmental shock, Human transgenerational response, Cardiovascular mortality, Overkalix
National Category
Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88969DOI: 10.1186/1471-2156-15-12ISI: 000334611200001OAI: diva2:719211
Available from: 2014-05-23 Created: 2014-05-19 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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Bygren, Lars OlovEdvinsson, Sören
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