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Better health in adulthood starts with early prevention in childhood

BOSTON -- Preventing chronic diseases and disorders that begin in infancy will improve the health of children and adults, according to research being presented on Saturday, April 28, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. ET in a topic symposium at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Room 302 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

The session, "Life-course Research: State of the Art and Science," will cover how proper nutrition and healthy habits in infancy, along with diminishing cumulative risks over time, will help prevent disease burden later in life. Speakers will discuss the health implications of preterm birth and the likelihood of disabilities later in life, including obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Additional research on diet during pregnancy and the interaction between genetics and the environment will also be presented.

"New research documents the importance of early life experiences on long-term heart and lung disease, obesity, and mental health," said James M. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, associate chair for research, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and symposium co-chair. "Preventing adverse early experiences can substantially improve the health and well-being of adults."

The session will take place 10:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. ET and include the following:

10:30 a.m. - Benefits of Research in Early Life ―Preemption and Prevention of Later Life Disease: an Entre into Life-course Research
William W. Hay, University of Colorado School of Medicine Lifecourse Research: The Potential Public Health Impact
James M. Perrin, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School

10:45 a.m. - The Influence of Early Life Factors on Subsequent Disease Risk: Using Longitudinal Datasets
Scott Montgomery, Karolinska University Hospital in Solna, Orebro University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden

11:15 a.m. - The Interaction between Genetics and Environment To Predict Childhood Growth
Michelle Lampl, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Ga.

11:45 a.m. - Examining Gestational Diet on Outcomes in Pregnancy and Childhood Using a Cohort Study Design
Matthew William Gillman, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Harvard Medical School

12:15 a.m. - Discussion

Contact: Debbie Jacobson
American Academy of Pediatrics

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