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  • 1.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Intergenerational health responses to adverse and enriched environments2013In: Annual review of public health (Print), ISSN 0163-7525, E-ISSN 1545-2093, Vol. 34, p. 49-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Health consequences of relative or absolute poverty constitute a definitive area of study in social medicine. As demonstrated in the extreme example of the Dutch Hunger Winter from 1944 to 1945, prenatal hunger can lead to adult schizophrenia and depression. A Norwegian study showed how childhood poverty resulted in a heightened risk of myocardial infarction in adulthood. In England, a study of extended impaired prenatal nutrition indicated three different types of increased cardiovascular risk at older ages. Current animal and human studies link both adverse and enriched environmental exposures to intergenerational transmission. We do not fully understand the molecular mechanisms for it; however, studies that follow up epigenetic marks within a generation combined with exploration of gametic epigenetic inheritance may help explain the prevalence of certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease, schizophrenia, and alcoholism, which have complex etiologies. Insights from these studies will be of great public health importance.

  • 2.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Edvinsson, Sören
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Demographic Data Base.
    Longevity determined by parental ancestors' nutrition during their slow growth period2001In: Acta Biotheoretica, ISSN 0001-5342, E-ISSN 1572-8358, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 53-59Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social circumstances often impinge on later generations in a socio-economic manner, giving children an uneven start in life. Overfeeding and overeating might not be an exception. The pathways might be complex but one direct mechanism could be genomic imprinting and loss of imprinting. An intergenerational "feedforward" control loop has been proposed, that links grandparental nutrition with the grandchild's growth. The mechanism has been speculated to be a specific response, e.g. to their nutritional state, directly modifying the setting of the gametic imprint on one or more genes. This study raises the question: Can overnutrition during a child's slow growth period trigger such direct mechanisms and partly determine mortality? Data were collected by following-up a cohort born in 1905 in Överkalix parish, northernmost Sweden. The probands were characterised by their parents' or grandparents' access to food during their own slow growth period. Availability of food in the area was defined by referring to historical data on harvests and food prices, records of local community meetings and general historical facts.If there was a surfeit of food in the environment when the paternal grandfather was a 9–12 year old boy a shortening of the proband survival could be demonstrated. The influence of parents', maternal grandparents' and paternal grandmothers' access to food during their slow growth period was discounted in a multivariable analysis. The results are indicative of very early programming mechanisms in human adaptation to the social environment.

  • 3.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Edvinsson, Sören
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).
    Pembrey, Marcus E.
    Clinical and Molecular Genetics Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK.
    Epigenetics or ephemeral genetics?: Reply to Senn2006Other (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.
    Tinghög, Petter
    Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden.
    Carstensen, John
    Department of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden.
    Edvinsson, Sören
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Demographic Data Base.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden .
    Pembrey, Marcus E.
    Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK.
    Sjöström, Michael
    Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.
    Change in paternal grandmothers' early food supply influenced cardiovascular mortality of the female grandchildren2014In: BMC Genetics, ISSN 1471-2156, E-ISSN 1471-2156, Vol. 15, p. 12-Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

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  • 5.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Weissglass, Gösta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
    Wikström, Britt-Maj
    Department of Psychosocial Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Benson Konlaan, Boinkum
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Grjibovski, Andrej
    Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
    Karlsson, Ann-Brith
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Andersson, Sven-Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Sjöström, Michael
    Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Cultural participation and health: a randomized controlled trial among medical care staff.2009In: Psychosomatic Medicine, ISSN 0033-3174, E-ISSN 1534-7796, Vol. 71, no May, p. 469-473Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6. Cuypers, Koenraad
    et al.
    Krokstad, Steinar
    Holmen, Turid Lingaas
    Knudtsen, Margunn Skjei
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Holmen, Jostein
    Patterns of receptive and creative cultural activities and their association with perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life among adults: the HUNT study, Norway2012In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, ISSN 0143-005X, E-ISSN 1470-2738, Vol. 66, no 8, p. 698-703Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Cultural participation has been used both in governmental health policies and as medical therapy, based on the assumption that cultural activities will improve health. Previous population studies and a human intervention study have shown that religious, social and cultural activities predict increased survival rate. The aim of this study was to analyse the association between cultural activity and perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life in both genders. Methods The study is based on the third population-based Nord-Trondelag Health Study (2006-2008), including 50 797 adult participants from Nord-Trondelag County, Norway. Data on cultural activities, both receptive and creative, perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life were collected by comprehensive questionnaires. Results The logistic regression models, adjusted for relevant cofactors, show that participation in receptive and creative cultural activities was significantly associated with good health, good satisfaction with life, low anxiety and depression scores in both genders. Especially in men, attending receptive, rather than creative, cultural activities was more strongly associated with all health-related outcomes. Statistically significant associations between several single receptive, creative cultural activities and the health-related outcome variables were revealed. Conclusion This population-based study suggests gender-dependent associations between cultural participation and perceived health, anxiety, depression and satisfaction with life. The results support hypotheses on the effect of cultural activities in health promotion and healthcare, but further longitudinal and experimental studies are warranted to establish a reliable cause-effect relationship.

  • 7.
    Eriksson, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Forensic Medicine.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Ahlm, Kristin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Forensic Medicine.
    Boman, Kurt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
    Johansson, Lars Age
    Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare.
    Olofsson, Bert-Ove
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Wall, Stig
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Weinehall, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
    Accuracy of death certificates of cardiovascular disease in a community intervention in Sweden.2013In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 41, no 8, p. 883-889Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The aim was to investigate the possibility to evaluate the mortality pattern in a community intervention programme against cardiovascular disease by official death certificates.

    Methods: For all deceased in the intervention area (Norsjö), the accuracy of the official death certificates were compared with matched controls in the rest of Västerbotten. The official causes of death were compared with new certificates, based on the last clinical record, issued by three of the authors, and coded by one of the authors, all four accordingly blinded.

    Results: The degree of agreement between the official underlying causes of death in "cardiovascular disease" (CVD) and the re-evaluated certificates was not found to differ between Norsjö and the rest of Västerbotten. The agreement was 87% and 88% at chapter level, respectively, but only 55% and 55% at 4-digit level, respectively. The reclassification resulted in a 1% decrease of "cardiovascular deaths" in both Norsjö and the rest of Västerbotten.

    Conclusions: The disagreements in the reclassification of cause of death were equal but large in both directions. The official death certificates should be used with caution to evaluate CVD in small community intervention programmes, and restricted to the chapter level and total populations.

  • 8. Grjibovski, A M
    et al.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences at Novum, Karolinska Institutet, 141 157 Huddinge, Sweden.
    Yngve, Agneta
    Sjöström, M
    Large social disparities in spontaneous preterm birth rates in transitional Russia2005In: Public Health, ISSN 0033-3506, E-ISSN 1476-5616, Vol. 119, no 2, p. 77-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective. This study estimated the effect of maternal sociodemographic, obstetric and lifestyle factors on the risk of spontaneous preterm birth in a Russian town.

    Methods. All women with singleton pregnancies registered at prenatal care centres in Severodvinsk in 1999 comprised the cohort for this study (n = 1559). Analysis was based on spontaneous live singleton births at the maternity home (n=1103). Muttivariable logistic regression was applied to quantify the effect of the studied factors on the risk of preterm birth. Differences in gestation duration were studied using multiple Linear regression.

    Results. In total, 5.6% of all spontaneous births were preterm. Increased risks of preterm delivery were found in women with lower Levels of education and in students. Placental complications, stress and a history of fetal death in previous pregnancies were also associated with elevated risks for preterm delivery. Smoking, hypertension and multigravidity were associated with reduced length of pregnancy in metric form.

    Conclusion. In addition to medical risk factors, social factors are important determinants of preterm birth in transitional Russia. Large disparities in preterm birth rates may reflect the level of inequalities in transitional Russia. Social variations in pregnancy outcomes should be monitored.

  • 9. Grjibovski, Andrej M
    et al.
    Yngve, Agneta
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Socialmedicin. Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Department of Biosciences at Novum, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge, Sweden.
    Sjöström, Michael
    Socio-demographic determinants of initiation and duration of breastfeeding in northwest Russia2005In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 94, no 5, p. 588-594Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: This study examines socio-demographic determinants of initiation and duration of breastfeeding in a community-based cohort in northwest Russia.

    Methods: All infants born to women who were registered at the antenatal clinics in Severodvinsk in 1999 comprised the cohort (n = 1399) and were followed up at 1 y. Data on maternal and infant characteristics as well as the duration of breastfeeding were obtained from medical records. Proportional hazard analysis was applied to quantify the effect of the selected factors on the risk of breastfeeding discontinuation adjusted for potential confounders.

    Results: Only 1.3% of infants were never breastfed. Breastfeeding rates were 75.0% and 47.2% at 3 and 6 mo, respectively. Maternal age and early initiation of prenatal care were positively associated with breastfeeding initiation rates. Increased risks of breastfeeding discontinuation were found in teenage mothers (OR= 1.45, 95% CI: 1.06-1.99), in mothers with basic education (OR= 1.68, 95% CI: 1.06-2.66) and in unmarried mothers (OR= 1.19, 95% CI: 1.03-1.38). Women with no previous deliveries were more likely to breastfeed longer (OR= 0.74, 95% CI: 0.62-0.90).

    Conclusions: Compared with previous studies in Russia, almost universal initiation and considerably higher rates of breastfeeding at specific time points were found. Social variations in initiation and duration of breastfeeding should raise concern of inequalities in breastfeeding practices in transitional Russia.

  • 10.
    Håglin, Lena
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Lundström, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Medicine.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine.
    Bäckman, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    All-cause mortality of patients with dyslipidemia up to 19 years after a multidisciplinary lifestyle modification programme: a randomized trial2011In: European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, ISSN 1741-8267, E-ISSN 1741-8275, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 79-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Many studies have shown that individual lifestyle factors are associated with cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality. Observational studies of comprehensive programmes have reported risk reductions. The objectives were to assess the long-term all-cause mortality by diagnosis in patients referred to a lifestyle modification programme, aimed at combating coronary heart disease and stroke.

    METHODS: A randomized trial with 325 patients referred to the centre between 1988 and 1989 for dyslipidemia, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease; 239 patients were randomized to the programme, 86 randomized to usual care. Cases were admitted to the centre in groups of 30 for a 4-week residential comprehensive activity, in total 114 full-time hours, focusing on food preferences and selections, and physical exercise. The activities were repeated during a 4-day revisit to the centre 1 year and 5 years after the 4-week intervention. Controls were referred back to their doctors, mainly in primary care, for usual care. Main outcome measure was all-cause mortality during 11-12 and 18-19 years after intervention.

    RESULTS: At follow-up 11-12 years after referral, the relative risk reduction (RRR) was 76% with the intention-to-treat analysis among cases admitted for dyslipidemia (hazards ratio 0.24, confidence interval 0.06-0.89, P=0.033). After 18-19 years, the RRR was 66% (hazards ratio 0.34, confidence interval 0.13-0.88, P=0.026). No RRR was found for the other three diagnoses.

    CONCLUSION: Patients admitted for dyslipidemia reached a real long-term RRR of all-cause mortality. They had by definition a need for this programme.

  • 11.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Edvinsson, Sören
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).
    Cardiovascular and diabetes mortality determined by nutrition during parents' and grandparents' slow growth period2002In: European Journal of Human Genetics, ISSN 1018-4813, E-ISSN 1476-5438, Vol. 10, no 11, p. 682-688Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Overfeeding and overeating in families are traditions that are often transferred from generation to generation. Irrespective of these family traditions, food availability might lead to overfeeding, in its turn leading to metabolic adaptations. Apart from selection, could these adaptations to the social environment have transgenerational effects? This study will attempt to answer the following question: Can overeating during a child's slow growth period (SGP), before their prepubertal peak in growth velocity influence descendants' risk of death from cardiovascular disease and diabetes? Data were collected by following three cohorts born in 1890, 1905 and 1920 in Överkalix parish in northern Sweden up until death or 1995. The parents' or grandparents' access to food during their SGP was determined by referring to historical data on harvests and food prices, records of local community meetings and general historical facts. If food was not readily available during the father's slow growth period, then cardiovascular disease mortality of the proband was low. Diabetes mortality increased if the paternal grandfather was exposed to a surfeit of food during his slow growth period. (Odds Ratio 4.1, 95% confidence interval 1.33-12.93, P=0.01). Selection bias seemed to be unlikely. A nutrition-linked mechanism through the male line seems to have influenced the risk for cardiovascular and diabetes mellitus mortality.

  • 12.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine. Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. Department of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Pembrey, Marcus
    Sjöstrom, Michael
    Transgenerational response to nutrition, early life circumstances and longevity2007In: European Journal of Human Genetics, ISSN 1018-4813, E-ISSN 1476-5438, Vol. 15, no 7, p. 784-790Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Nutrition might induce, at some loci, epigenetic or other changes that could be transmitted to the next generation impacting on health. The slow growth period (SGP) before the prepubertal peak in growth velocity has emerged as a sensitive period where different food availability is followed by different transgenerational response (TGR). The aim of this study is to investigate to what extent the probands own childhood circumstances are in fact the determinants of the findings. In the analysis, data from three random samples, comprising 271 probands and their 1626 parents and grandparents, left after exclusions because of missing data, were utilized. The availability of food during any given year was classified based on regional statistics. The ancestors' SGP was set at the ages of 8-12 years and the availability of food during these years classified as good, intermediate or poor. The probands' childhood circumstances were defined by the father's ownership of land, the number of siblings and order in the sibship, the death of parents and the parents' level of literacy. An earlier finding of a sex-specific influence from the ancestors' nutrition during the SGP, going from the paternal grandmother to the female proband and from the paternal grandfather to the male proband, was confirmed. In addition, a response from father to son emerged when childhood social circumstances of the son were accounted for. Early social circumstances influenced longevity for the male proband. TGRs to ancestors' nutrition prevailed as the main influence on longevity.

  • 13.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Bygren, Lars-Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Vester, Monica
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Karlsson, AnnBrith
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Sjöström, Michael
    Outcomes of comprehensive lifestyle modification in inpatient setting2006In: Patient Education and Counseling, ISSN 0738-3991, E-ISSN 1873-5134, Vol. 62, no 1, p. 95-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To examine the effectiveness of a 4-week inpatient non-pharmacological risk factor modification programme for individuals with the metabolic syndrome. The aim of the program was to reduce patients' over risks for stroke and myocardial infarction.

    Methods: A prospective clinical study including 2468 patients - 1096 men and 1372 women - with and average age of 50 +/- 10 years. The patients were referred to the programme from primary care units and hospitals where treatment options were exhausted.

    Results: All risk factor levels for stroke and myocardial infarction decreased. The reduction of weight among men was 4.7 +/- 2.6 kg and 3.8 +/- 1.8 kg among women from an initial weight of 96 17 kg and 85 +/- 16 kg. respectively. The patients systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased by 15/10 mm Hg for men and 14/9 min Hg among women from initial average for the whole population of 148/90 +/- 19/11 mm Hg and 146/87 +/- 19/12 min Hg, respectively. The greatest decrease in weight and blood pressure occurred in men and women with an initial body mass index of >= 30 and with a diastolic blood pressure of >= 90; in this group, the average reductions in weight were 5.8 +/- 2.4 kg for men and 4.4 +/- 1.7 kg for women; the reductions in systolisk/diastolisk blood pressure were 22/15 +/- 16/9 mm Hg (p < 0.001) for both men and women. A reduction of medication (DDD) although not a goal was also achieved.

    Conclusion: The results prove the value of a comprehensive and highly structured inpatient approach to lifestyle modification. Practice implications: The results should give cause to trials with half-way strategies integrating features from the inpatient programme into the design of risk factor interventions.

  • 14.
    Pembrey, Marcus E.
    et al.
    Clinical and Molecular Genetics Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, England, UK.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation. Department of Biosciences, Preventive Nutrition Karolinska Institute, Karolinska, Sweden.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
    Edvinsson, Sören
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Demographic Data Base.
    Northstone, Kate
    Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, Bristol University, England, UK.
    Sjöström, Michael
    Department of Biosciences, Preventive Nutrition Karolinska Institute, Karolinska, Sweden.
    Golding, Jean
    Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, Bristol University, England, UK.
    Sex-specific, male-line transgenerational responses in humans2006In: European Journal of Human Genetics, ISSN 1018-4813, E-ISSN 1476-5438, Vol. 14, p. 159-166Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Transgenerational effects of maternal nutrition or other environmental 'exposures' are well recognised, but the possibility of exposure in the male influencing development and health in the next generation(s) is rarely considered. However, historical associations of longevity with paternal ancestors' food supply in the slow growth period (SGP) in mid childhood have been reported. Using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we identified 166 fathers who reported starting smoking before age 11 years and compared the growth of their offspring with those with a later paternal onset of smoking, after correcting for confounders. We analysed food supply effects on offspring and grandchild mortality risk ratios (RR) using 303 probands and their 1818 parents and grandparents from the 1890, 1905 and 1920 Överkalix cohorts, northern Sweden. After appropriate adjustment, early paternal smoking is associated with greater body mass index (BMI) at 9 years in sons, but not daughters. Sex-specific effects were also shown in the Överkalix data; paternal grandfather's food supply was only linked to the mortality RR of grandsons, while paternal grandmother's food supply was only associated with the granddaughters' mortality RR. These transgenerational effects were observed with exposure during the SGP (both grandparents) or fetal/infant life (grandmothers) but not during either grandparent's puberty. We conclude that sex-specific, male-line transgenerational responses exist in humans and hypothesise that these transmissions are mediated by the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Such responses add an entirely new dimension to the study of gene–environment interactions in development and health.

  • 15. Pembrey, Marcus
    et al.
    Saffery, Richard
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Human transgenerational responses to early-life experience: potential impact on development, health and biomedical research2014In: Journal of Medical Genetics, ISSN 0022-2593, E-ISSN 1468-6244, Journal of Medical Genetics, ISSN 0022-2593, Vol. 51, no 9, p. 563-572Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mammalian experiments provide clear evidence of male line transgenerational effects on health and development from paternal or ancestral early-life exposures such as diet or stress. The few human observational studies to date suggest (male line) transgenerational effects exist that cannot easily be attributed to cultural and/or genetic inheritance. Here we summarise relevant studies, drawing attention to exposure sensitive periods in early life and sex differences in transmission and offspring outcomes. Thus, variation, or changes, in the parental/ancestral environment may influence phenotypic variation for better or worse in the next generation(s), and so contribute to common, non-communicable disease risk including sex differences. We argue that life-course epidemiology should be reframed to include exposures from previous generations, keeping an open mind as to the mechanisms that transmit this information to offspring. Finally, we discuss animal experiments, including the role of epigenetic inheritance and non-coding RNAs, in terms of what lessons can be learnt for designing and interpreting human studies. This review was developed initially as a position paper by the multidisciplinary Network in Epigenetic Epidemiology to encourage transgenerational research in human cohorts.

  • 16.
    Tinghög, Petter
    et al.
    Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, Karolinska institutet, Huddinge.
    Carstensen, John
    Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping.
    Kaati, Gunnar
    Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, Karolinska institutet, Huddinge.
    Edvinsson, Sören
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Population Studies (CPS).
    Sjöström, Michael
    Department of Bioscience and Nutrition, Karolinska institutet, Huddinge.
    Bygren, Lars Olov
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation.
    Migration and mortality trajectories: a study of individuals born in the rural community of Överkalix, Sweden2011In: Social Science and Medicine, ISSN 0277-9536, E-ISSN 1873-5347, Vol. 73, no 5, p. 744-751Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Migration may result in exposure to factors that are both beneficial and harmful for good health. How the act of migration is associated with mortality, or whether the socio-economic condition of migrants prior to migration influences their mortality trajectory, is not well understood. In the present study, a cohort of 413 randomly selected individuals born in the rural community of Överkalix, Sweden, between 1890 and 1935 were followed from birth to either death or old age. Around 50% of the study-population moved away from Överkalix at one time or another. To adjust for a potential bias resulting from self-selection among the migrants, the father’s occupational status was used together with parents’ and grandparents’ longevity. Overall, migration could not be shown to predict mortality when the backgrounds of the migrants were taken into account. Nonetheless, socio-economic background conditions appeared to moderate the association, decreasing the mortality rates for migrants with relatively good pre-migratory socio-economic conditions, while increasing it for migrants with poorer pre-migratory conditions. However, further scrutiny revealed that this effect modification mainly affected the female migrants’ mortality. In conclusion, the study suggests that there is no general association between migration and mortality, but that migrants with better socio-economic resources are more likely to improve their mortality trajectories than migrants with poorer resources. Better pre-migratory conditions hence appear to be important for avoiding health-adverse circumstances and gaining access to health beneficial living conditions when moving to foreign environments – especially for women.

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