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Journal of Pregnancy
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 638476, 8 pages
Review Article

The Long and Short of It: The Role of Telomeres in Fetal Origins of Adult Disease

1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6A 5C1
2Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, London, ON, Canada N6H 5W9
3Children’s Health Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, ON, Canada N6C 2V5

Received 7 April 2012; Accepted 24 August 2012

Academic Editor: Mark Nijland

Copyright © 2012 Stephanie E. Hallows et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Placental insufficiency, maternal malnutrition, and other causes of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) can significantly affect short-term growth and long-term health. Following IUGR, there is an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. The etiology of these diseases is beginning to be elucidated, and premature aging or cellular senescence through increased oxidative stress and DNA damage to telomeric ends may be initiators of these disease processes. This paper will explore the areas where telomere and telomerase biology can have significant effects on various tissues in the body in IUGR outcomes.