‘Prenatal famine exposure slows body metabolism and increases the body mass index.’
The other health risks of prenatal famine exposure, like diabetes and schizophrenia, are also confirmed by this study.
Lumey, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School. “A slower metabolism that would have helped them survive the pandemic, in times of plenty could also contribute to weight problems and related health issues.”
The study also highlighted that overweight risk has link to socioeconomic group and geographic populations because the risk was high among the sons of manual workers born in the large cities of Western Netherlands, those were most affected by the famine.
The mortality risk of overweight people was not influenced by famine exposure as those who were overweight at age 19 had a 30 percent greater mortality risk through age 63 relative to those with a BMI in the normal range.
“Our study builds on the rigorous science behind the original research in the 1970s led by Columbia epidemiologists Mervyn Susser and Zena Stein,” says Lumey.