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Approved Research

Longitudinal Analysis of Early Life Environmental Factors on Adult Cardiometabolic Health and Exercise Responsiveness

Principal Investigator: Ms Melissa Quinn
Approved Research ID: 79547
Approval date: March 24th 2022

Lay summary

Lay Summary: The aim of this research project is to examine longitudinal human data for potential correlations between exercise responsiveness (and adverse response) and early life growth restriction. Additionally, we aim to look at specific cardiometabolic outcomes in those growth restricted in early life and compare this to previously published animal data (mice, sheep, rats, etc.) to validate translatability. If data is available on those growth restricted who were also involved in exercise interventions, this data will be used to determine further correlations between growth restriction and physiological responses to exercise. The project duration will be anywhere between 12-24 months and will involve a meta-analysis of the repository data.

Scientific Rationale: Lifestyle factors such as physical activity level and proper nutrition are key influences on health outcome and chronic disease prevention across the lifespan. Early life growth restriction has been shown to increase the risk of developing chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, by about 47%. Many recent studies have established the positive effects of exercise in most individuals in preventing disease onset and enhancing a multitude of health benefits. However, a subset of the population still exhibits either no positive response to exercise or even experience adverse responses in physical biomarkers like cholesterol level, blood pressure, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and ability to adapt to an exercise appropriately. It is alarming to find exercise may have a negative effect on some individuals, especially those growth restricted in early life, which is an emerging field of study in the animal literature. Our goal is to analyze previously collected data available in the UK Biobank repository in order to elucidate correlations between growth rate in early life, exercise response/fitness level, and chronic disease onset in adulthood.

Public Health Impact: Elucidating correlations between early life growth restriction, fitness level and chronic disease onset will allow for more accurate guidance in prescribing exercise safely and appropriately, establishing translatability between previously published animal data with human data, and to further prevent chronic disease onset in adulthood.