Social Determinants of Placental Health and Future Disease Risks for Babies

Kent L. Thornburg, Janne Boone-Heinonen, Amy M. Valent

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


    Birthweight is a well-known predictor of adult-onset chronic disease. The placenta plays a necessary role in regulating fetal growth and determining birth size. Maternal stressors that affect placental function and prenatal growth include maternal overnutrition and undernutrition, toxic social stress, and exposure to toxic chemicals. These stressors lead to increased vulnerability to disease within any population. This vulnerability arises from placental and fetal exposure to stressors during fetal life. The biological drivers linking various social determinants of health to compromised placental function and fetal development have been little studied.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1-15
    Number of pages15
    JournalObstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2020



    • Maternal obesity
    • Maternal stress
    • Placental health
    • Pregnancy outcomes
    • Social determinants of health

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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