Cover image for Life in the womb : the origin of health and disease
Life in the womb : the origin of health and disease
Nathanielsz, P. W.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ithaca, N.Y. : Promethean Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiii, 363 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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RJ91 .N235 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Nathanielsz (reproductive medicine, Coll. of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell Univ.) discusses how unfavorable conditions during fetal development may program an individual for lifetime health problems. While the fetus can compensate for maternal nutritional deficiencies or drug use, these survival techniques may cause significant health problems later in life and may even lead to problems in succeeding generations. Although the author readily admits that it is difficult to prove this kind of theory, he provides an extensive review of epidemiological and animal studies which indicate that problems in prenatal development may lead to adult health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. The idea of developmental programming is not completely accepted by the medical community, yet Nathanielsz passionately defends his opinions, and because he has an M.D. and Ph.D. in obstetrics and physiology, his views merit thoughtful consideration. Written for the general reader, this book is recommended for all public libraries.Tina Neville, Univ. of South Florida at St. Petersburg Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Advances in our understanding of human development have now extended to issues of quality of life before birth, in the womb. Nathanielsz (reproductive medicine, Cornell Univ.) gathers considerable evidence that programming or determination of health and disease begins at the start of life. As a companion to his previous book, Life before Birth (1996), this latest effort draws on current research in human epidemiology, clinical observations, and animal studies to feature the mechanisms that occur before birth that shape our personal health history. Beginning with a general discussion of the origins of health and disease, Nathanielsz lays the foundation of his thesis by citing historical, cross-cultural, and transgenerational evidence, as well as evidence from studies on prenatal development. He concludes that our understanding of programming may influence future research and health care policy. As a work easily accessible to the general reader, Life in the Womb pushes the boundaries of our thinking on the origins of health and disease in the context of human development. Nathanielsz's freethinking approach toward understanding our own biology serves as a challenge to current assumptions about who we are and our potential. Clear writing; chapter notes. Recommended for all academic audiences as a compelling resource in human development. All levels. J. D. Campbell University of Missouri--Columbia