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Health Professionals BlogNAFLD / MAFLDObesity

Gestational and developmental contributors of pediatric MASLD

Title: Gestational and developmental contributors of pediatric MASLD

Source: Seminars in Liver Disease 2024, Feb 29. [E-publication]

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Date of publication: February 2024

Publication type: Article

Abstract: Pediatric metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) is common and can be seen as early as in utero. A growing body of literature suggests that gestational and early life exposures modify the risk of MASLD development in children. These include maternal risk factors, such as poor cardiometabolic health (e.g., obesity, gestational diabetes, rapid weight gain during pregnancy, and MASLD), as well as periconceptional dietary exposures, degree of physical activity, intestinal microbiome, and smoking. Paternal factors, such as diet and obesity, also appear to play a role. Beyond gestation, early life dietary exposures, as well as the rate of infant weight gain, may further modify the risk of future MASLD development. The mechanisms linking parental health and environmental exposures to pediatric MASLD are complex and not entirely understood. In conclusion, investigating gestational and developmental contributors to MASLD is critical and may identify future interventional targets for disease prevention.

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