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The influence of genetic, environmental and intrauterine factors on child development: The east Flanders prospective twin survey (EFPTS) & the twins and multiple births association heritability study (TAMBAHS)

Antoniou, Evangelia (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

I investigated the role of genetic, environmental and intrauterine factors in child development using data from two large twin studies; the East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey (EFPTS) and the Twins and Multiple Births Association Heritability Study (TAMBAHS). An association between birth weight and child development has already been established. Potential associations between other factors of the intrauterine environment and child development were investigated in this thesis. Heritabilities of the umbilical cord, IQ, temperament and behaviour problems were estimated. Fetal characteristics, such as birth weight, placental weight and morphology, umbilical cord knots, length and insertions were investigated in relation to cognitive development in the EFPTS study. The impact of maternal pre-pregnancy weight on temperament and behaviour problems was examined in the TAMBAHS study. High heritability estimates were observed for certain dimensions of the umbilical cord, temperament and IQ; for behaviour problems, genetic, shared and non-shared environment were important. Low birth weight and cord knotting was associated with lower IQ; an association was observed between maternal overweight and children aggressive behaviour. The results are discussed in the context of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) hypothesis, highlighting the role of the intrauterine environment in child development.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Southwood, Tauny and Zeegers, Maurice
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
Department:Unit of Urologic and Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Health and Population Sciences
Additional Information:

Research related to this thesis is published in:

Antoniou EE, Derom C, Thiery E, Fowler T, Southwood TR, Zeegers MP.
The Influence of Genetic and Environmental Factors on the Etiology of the Human Umbilical cord: The East Flanders Prospective Twin Survey.
Biology of Reproduction, 2011 Jul;85(1):137-43

Antoniou EE, Draper H, Reed K, Burls A, Southwood TR, Zeegers MP.
An empirical study on the preferred size of the participant information sheet in research.
Journal of Medical Ethics, 2011 Apr 8. Epub ahead of print
http://eprints.bham.ac.uk/1136/

Antoniou EE, Zeegers MP.
The advantage of using twin studies in epidemiological research.
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2011. In press

Subjects:QH301 Biology
QH426 Genetics
RG Gynecology and obstetrics
RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3485
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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