Women conceived during the Winter Famine of 1944 tend to die at a younger age than those whose parents did not suffer malnourishment, new research shows.
The same group of women also have an increased risk of dying of cardiovascular diseases, epidemiological research by Annet van Abeelen reveals. "It is striking that 60 years later the effects are still being felt. The findings are particularly important for developing countries."
Last year an estimated 925 million people around the world suffered hunger. "It may be useful to consider children born in hunger-stricken areas as a high-risk group."
During the Hongerwinter, the last winter before the end of World War II, around three million Dutch people had a daily food intake of just 400 calories. In addition to freezing temperatures, one of the key causes was a German ban on food and fuel transports. The famine struck cities in the west of the Netherlands particular badly. Some 20,000 people are thought to have died as a result.
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