Developmental Origins of Health Span and Life Span: A Mini-Review

Joshua D. Preston, Leryn J. Reynolds, Kevin J. Pearson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: A vast body of research has demonstrated that disease susceptibility and offspring health can be influenced by perinatal factors, which include both paternal and maternal behavior and environment. Offspring disease risk has the potential to affect the health span and life span of offspring. Key Findings: Various maternal factors, such as environmental toxicant exposure, diet, stress, exercise, age at conception, and longevity have the potential to influence age-associated diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer risk in offspring. Paternal factors such as diet, age at conception, and longevity can potentially impact offspring health span and life span-reducing traits as well. Practical Implications: Continued research could go a long way toward defining mechanisms of the developmental origins of life span and health span, and eventually establishing regimens to avoid negative developmental influences and to encourage positive interventions to potentially increase life span and improve health span in offspring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 S. Karger AG, Basel.


  • Aging
  • Developmental origins of health and disease
  • Developmental programming
  • Disease
  • Epigenetics
  • Exercise
  • Longevity
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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