Racial Equity Resource Guide


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Early origins of inflammation: An examination of prenatal and childhood social adversity in a prospective cohort study

Organization: National Center for Biotechnology Information


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Current medical data finds that children exposed to social adversity carry a greater risk of poor physical and mental health into adulthood. Published in Fall of 2014, Early origins of inflammation: An examination of prenatal and childhood social adversity in a prospective cohort study is a research study exploring whether prenatal and childhood social environments and adversity contribute to adult inflammation.

Drawing on data and interviews with between 1959 and 1974, the research report concluded that prenatal and childhood social adversity is indeed a risk factor for physical and mental illnesses in adulthood. The evidence is consistent with studies demonstrating that adversity in the maternal environment during pregnancy has lasting effects on development of the child’s immune system. If the relationship is confirmed by further testing, it would suggest that efforts to improve the social and environmental conditions of pregnancy and for children would have positive lifetime health benefits.



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