“The mothers have eaten unripe grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge”: the potential inter-generational effects of the Holocaust on chronic morbidity in Holocaust survivors’ offspring
AbstractModern epidemiology has evolved in the last decades from the simplified “cause-effect” paradigm to a multi-factorial framework of causality. The concept of “Fetal Origin of Adult Diseases” (FOAD) is a good example: it suggests that preconception circumstances and fetal exposures as well as infancy and early childhood experiences may eventually change an individual’s susceptibility to adult morbidity through fetal programming and epigenetic changes. The FOAD concept was supported, between others, by well-designed cohort studies carried out on non-Jewish World War II (WWII) survivors, exposed to hunger during the War years. However, data on late physical morbidity of Jewish WWII survivors are still scarce.