Effects of early-life environment and epigenetics on cardiovascular disease risk in children: highlighting the role of twin studies

Sun, Cong, Burgner, David P, Ponsonby, Anne-Louise, Saffery, Richard, Huang, Rae-Chi, Vuillermin, Peter J, Cheung, Michael and Craig, Jeffrey M 2013, Effects of early-life environment and epigenetics on cardiovascular disease risk in children: highlighting the role of twin studies, Pediatric research, vol. 73, no. 4-2, pp. 523-530.

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Title Effects of early-life environment and epigenetics on cardiovascular disease risk in children: highlighting the role of twin studies
Author(s) Sun, Cong
Burgner, David P
Ponsonby, Anne-Louise
Saffery, Richard
Huang, Rae-Chi
Vuillermin, Peter J
Cheung, Michael
Craig, Jeffrey M
Journal name Pediatric research
Volume number 73
Issue number 4-2
Start page 523
End page 530
Total pages 8
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Place of publication Boston, Mass.
Publication date 2013
ISSN 0031-3998
1530-0447
Keyword(s) cardiovascular disease
epigenetics
twin studies
early life environment
Summary Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide and originates in early life. The exact mechanisms of this early-life origin are unclear, but a likely mediator at the molecular level is epigenetic dysregulation of gene expression. Epigenetic factors have thus been posited as the likely drivers of early-life programming of adult-onset diseases. This review summarizes recent advances in epidemiology and epigenetic research of CVD risk in children, with a particular focus on twin studies. Classic twin studies enable partitioning of phenotypic variance within a population into additive genetic, shared, and nonshared environmental variances, and are invaluable in research in this area. Longitudinal cohort twin studies, in particular, may provide important insights into the role of epigenetics in the pathogenesis of CVD. We describe candidate gene and epigenome-wide association studies (EWASs) and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of CVD, and discuss the potential for evidence-based interventions. Identifying epigenetic changes associated with CVD-risk biomarkers in children will provide new opportunities to unravel the underlying biological mechanism of the origins of CVD and enable identification of those at risk for early-life interventions to alter the risk trajectory and potentially reduce CVD incidence later in life.
Language eng
Field of Research 110201 Cardiology (incl Cardiovascular Diseases)
Socio Economic Objective 920103 Cardiovascular System and Diseases
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30054884

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Medicine
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