Early Indicators of Disease

Use of In Utero and Post-Natal Indicators to Predict Health Outcomes Later in Life

October 14-15, 2010

The Washington Club
15 Dupont Circle NW
Washington, DC 20036-1299

This meeting provided a brief background on traditional testing strategies used to detect later-life effects following in utero or post-natal stressors. It also explored the emerging science in this area using two case studies. The first case study was end-point driven and examined developmental origins of obesity, insulin resistance, and hypertension. The second explored in utero or post-natal exposure to arsenic and potential indicators that could predict later-life effects. Finally, the meeting included discussions on implications for using this emerging science for risk assessment and decision-making purposes. Questions that were used to guide the meeting include the following:

  • What is the range of adult disease states that have developmental origins?
  • What are the possible mechanisms for persistent, adult-onset effects associated with developmental exposures?
  • What early life biomarkers are available to predict later life disease?
  • How good are current animal tests in detecting associations between early life exposures and later life effects?
  • Are there shorter-term animal tests or mode-of-action-based in vitro/human biomarker tests that detect early life events and are predictive of later life effects?
  • Is our scientific understanding of these processes sufficient to inform weight-of-evidence-based risk assessments and regulatory practices?