Our latest research study, “Ancestral exposure to stress epigenetically programs preterm birth risk and adverse maternal and newborn outcomes,” shows that stress in pregnant rats can shorten the length of pregnancy in subsequent generations. The findings could provide clues to the causes of preterm birth in humans. Speaking to The Scientist, Dr. Gerlinde Metz discussed the relevance of this study to public health.
“The multigenerational stress lineage resembles generations living in a continuously stressful environment, compared to the short-term stress affecting only one generation. I think this has interesting implications for human populations, such as stress programming by migration, disasters, and poverty.”
For further information from news sources, or to read the article in BMC Medicine, follow the links below.
- Pregnancy Stress Spans Generations – The Scientist
- University of Lethbridge Researchers Show Risks for Preterm Birth and Newborn Health Could Have Their Roots in Grandmothers’ Experiences – UNews
- Y. Yao et al., “Ancestral exposure to stress epigenetically programs preterm birth risk and adverse maternal and newborn outcomes,” BMC Medicine, doi:10.1186/s12916-014-0121-6, 2014.