Fetal growth retardation as a predictor of health during the future life

Gumeniuk E.G., Ivshin A.A., Svetova K.S.

Petrozavodsk State University, Medical Institute, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatovenerology, Petrozavodsk, Russia

Fetal growth retardation continues to be an important issue in obstetrics and neonatology due to the high level of perinatal morbidity and mortality.
The narrative review of the literature provides the information on a new paradigm in modern perinatology, namely, on the concept of placental or great obstetric syndromes, which include fetal growth retardation. The review highlights the complex process of understanding intrauterine programming, starting with the assumptions and hypotheses made by D.J. Barker. The tragic experience of the impact of famine in wartime on fetal development and morbidity in adulthood is analyzed. The concept of the thrifty phenotype as an adaptation process is presented. The concepts of possible mechanisms of intrauterine programming are discussed. The article provides the information on the concept of “The first 1000 days” (from conception to two years after birth) and developmental plasticity, which play an important role in the formation of long-term health.
The analysis of the literature showed that newborns with fetal growth retardation are at high risk of diseases in the postnatal period. This diagnosis in the patient’s history is a risk factor for the development of chronic non-communicable diseases in adulthood (hypertension, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, chronic kidney disease). There is an increased risk for the diseases of the bronchopulmonary system, brain damage, and impaired psychosocial adaptation. There is an adverse effect of fetal growth retardation on the male reproductive system in the future, in particular, infertility.
The review presents the analysis of preventive measures aimed at reducing chronic diseases in patients with a history of growth retardation.
Conclusion: Fetal growth retardation plays a key role in increasing the risk of short- and long-term health effects; therefore, it is necessary to carry out further research and development of preventive and therapeutic measures.

Authors’ contributions: Gumeniuk E.G. – developing the design and concept of the study, carrying out the search, analysis and translation of literature, writing and editing the literature review; Ivshin A.A. – writing and editing the review; Svetova K.S. – editing the review.
Conflicts of interest: Authors declare lack of the possible conflicts of interest.
Funding: The study was financially supported by the Government of the Republic of Karelia within the framework of the R&D Support Program for students, postgraduates and researchers.
For citation: Gumeniuk E.G., Ivshin A.A., Svetova K.S. Fetal growth retardation as a predictor of health during the future life.
Akusherstvo i Ginekologiya/Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2024; (3): 5-12 (in Russian)


fetal growth retardation
great obstetric syndromes
intrauterine programming
postnatal period
chronic non-communicable diseases
preventive measures


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Received 29.11.2023

Accepted 19.02.2024

About the Authors

Elena G. Gumeniuk, Dr. Med. Sci., Professor, Professor of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatovenerology of the Medical Institute, Petrozavodsk State University, Chairman of the Karelian Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, +7(921)224-53-20, 31, Krasnoarmeyskaya str., Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185035, Russia, https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1195-9682
Alexander A. Ivshin, PhD, Associate Professor, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dermatovenerology of the Medical Institute, Petrozavodsk State University, 31, Krasnoarmeyskaya str., Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185035, Russia, +7(909)567-12-51, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7834-096X
Kristina S. Svetova, Bachelor of the Institute of Mathematics and Information Technologies, direction "Software Engineering", Petrozavodsk State University, 31, Krasnoarmeyskaya str., Petrozavodsk, Republic of Karelia, 185035, Russia, +7(921)014-57-64.
Corresponding author: Alexander A. Ivshin, scipeople@mail.ru

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