Health Status, Health Perceptions

This appears to be a special case of the more general phenomenon of how environmental influences can be embedded in biology during critical and sensitive periods of development. Healthy development depends on gene expression being responsive to changes in the environment. For example, the radical change in the environment at birth is responsible for changing the expression of genes to enable the baby to make the transition from intrauterine to extrauterine life.

The identification of genes that confer susceptibility to adverse or beneficial responses following exposure to diverse social environments has only just begun. One caveat should be kept in mind in reading through the following review of evidence. Few of the cited studies drew their evidence from randomized experiments.

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Vector-borne pathogens include Lyme disease, highest among 5–9-year-olds , and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, most prevalent under age 10 . Cat scratch disease, carried by cats, has an estimated annual incidence of 22,000 cases, with the highest age-specific incidence in children less than age 10.

The effects of individual, family, and community attitudes and beliefs on health behavior have been well described. This work focused initially on asthma and diabetes and more recently on substance use and HIV/AIDS treatment . Examples of such programming during particular sensitive or critical periods of development are coming to light. Outcomes associated with programming early in life may also promote health.

  • However, inheriting two such genes gives the individual sickle cell anemia, a severe disease.
  • Thus, gene expressions that lead to a disease in one context may not lead to a disease, or may result in a different disease, in another context .
  • Outside of malaria-endemic areas, sickle cell trait, the inheritance of one copy of hemoglobin S, has no known adaptive benefit and may be maladaptive.
  • A single cystic fibrosis gene has been postulated to be protective against diarrheal diseases such as cholera, conferring a survival advantage to individuals who carry one copy of the gene .
  • Other examples of genes with positive influence also exist in given environments.

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A number of diseases like heart diseases, cancer and diabetes are related to life – style. Good life – style like good food, sleep and exercise promotes better health.

Thus, to be healthy, newborns must make profound changes in gene expression as they transition from intrauterine to extrauterine environments. Genes may confer susceptibility only during a specific span of time, referred to as a critical period. The complex interrelationships between genetics and environmental stimuli are not clearly defined and are an active area of current research.

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And few if any of the nonexperimental studies included all relevant variables in their data and analyses. A related problem is that few of the cited studies include data that represent the whole population of children. Thus, the findings that are reported as significant may be significant only in the population studied or similar populations. Nonetheless, the committee found the evidence to be sufficiently compelling to warrant inclusion when there was a plausible, well-supported connection between the influence and health. It includes culture, behaviour best hemorrhoid cream and also habits like smoking and alcoholism.

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