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Why did children grow so well at hard times? The ultimate importance of pathogen control during puberty.

Hõrak P, Valge M - Evol Med Public Health (2015)

Bottom Line: Height of girls was negatively affected by the number of siblings and positively by parental socioeconomic position, but these effects were weaker than the secular trend.Reduction of disease burden during pubertal growth can override effects of resource shortage at birth.Our results also support the idea that increasing efficiency of pathogen control can contribute to the secular increase in cognitive abilities, i.e. the Flynn effect, and that epidemiological transition is the main driver of secular increase in human capital.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Tartu University, Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu, Estonia; horak@ut.ee.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Standardized regression coefficients (β ± 95% CI) for significant predictors of measured parameters of size and performance. β-s are from models presented in Table 1
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eov017-F1: Standardized regression coefficients (β ± 95% CI) for significant predictors of measured parameters of size and performance. β-s are from models presented in Table 1

Mentions: Here, we use data from 1475 Estonian adolescent girls to assess the effects of resource limitation and the epidemiological situation on various anthropometric traits. The dataset, collected by Prof. Juhan Aul (1897–1994), includes girls born between 1938 and 1953, i.e. during the period involving a highly variable epidemiological situation at the time of birth. Infant mortality increased rapidly from 1944 and started to decline from 1948, dropping below the pre-war level by 1952 (Fig. 1E). Infant mortality is considered a relevant proxy for the prevalence of disease [4] and particularly infection and inflammation [20]. The girls born between 1943 and 1947 can thus be considered to have experienced harsher pre- and postnatal disease conditions than those born before and after that period. On the other hand, their period of pubertal growth coincided with a more relaxed pathogen stress than compared with the girls born before the war (Fig. 1E). More interestingly, the post-war decline in infant mortality coincided with the rapid deterioration of living standards after 1947, which was partly caused by the destruction of the rural economy by mass-collectivization [18]. Culmination of the health crisis in post-war Estonia is indicated by the absolute number of recorded deaths that peaked in 1946–47, a pattern uncommon in the rest of Europe [21]. The study period thus involved two opposite trends in the economic and epidemiological situations: increasing birth-time economic hardships during the war and particularly in the post-war period, and decreasing infant mortality after 1948.Figure 1.


Why did children grow so well at hard times? The ultimate importance of pathogen control during puberty.

Hõrak P, Valge M - Evol Med Public Health (2015)

Standardized regression coefficients (β ± 95% CI) for significant predictors of measured parameters of size and performance. β-s are from models presented in Table 1
© Copyright Policy - creative-commons
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4530472&req=5

eov017-F1: Standardized regression coefficients (β ± 95% CI) for significant predictors of measured parameters of size and performance. β-s are from models presented in Table 1
Mentions: Here, we use data from 1475 Estonian adolescent girls to assess the effects of resource limitation and the epidemiological situation on various anthropometric traits. The dataset, collected by Prof. Juhan Aul (1897–1994), includes girls born between 1938 and 1953, i.e. during the period involving a highly variable epidemiological situation at the time of birth. Infant mortality increased rapidly from 1944 and started to decline from 1948, dropping below the pre-war level by 1952 (Fig. 1E). Infant mortality is considered a relevant proxy for the prevalence of disease [4] and particularly infection and inflammation [20]. The girls born between 1943 and 1947 can thus be considered to have experienced harsher pre- and postnatal disease conditions than those born before and after that period. On the other hand, their period of pubertal growth coincided with a more relaxed pathogen stress than compared with the girls born before the war (Fig. 1E). More interestingly, the post-war decline in infant mortality coincided with the rapid deterioration of living standards after 1947, which was partly caused by the destruction of the rural economy by mass-collectivization [18]. Culmination of the health crisis in post-war Estonia is indicated by the absolute number of recorded deaths that peaked in 1946–47, a pattern uncommon in the rest of Europe [21]. The study period thus involved two opposite trends in the economic and epidemiological situations: increasing birth-time economic hardships during the war and particularly in the post-war period, and decreasing infant mortality after 1948.Figure 1.

Bottom Line: Height of girls was negatively affected by the number of siblings and positively by parental socioeconomic position, but these effects were weaker than the secular trend.Reduction of disease burden during pubertal growth can override effects of resource shortage at birth.Our results also support the idea that increasing efficiency of pathogen control can contribute to the secular increase in cognitive abilities, i.e. the Flynn effect, and that epidemiological transition is the main driver of secular increase in human capital.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Tartu University, Vanemuise 46, 51014, Tartu, Estonia; horak@ut.ee.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus