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Melatonin and energy metabolism: epidemiological studies

Grant number: 16/17127-1
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Visiting Researcher Grant - International
Duration: February 13, 2017 - August 12, 2017
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Epidemiology
Principal Investigator:José Cipolla Neto
Grantee:José Cipolla Neto
Visiting researcher: Arne James Lowden
Visiting researcher institution: Stockholm University, Sweden
Host Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/50457-0 - Melatonin and the control of energy metabolism: basic, clinical and epidemiological research, AP.TEM


The study aims to study disturbances among children and teenagers that could be related to maternal shiftwork exposure during pregnancy. Animal models have shown that skiftwork have a negative impact on programming (structure, metabolism and physiology) of vital organs in the fetus generating a permanent harm. A possible explanation has been proposed to be related to light exposure at night that reduces melatonin excretion involved in the genetic programming of organs. This might cause sickness later in life. By stydying the offspring to mothers that during pregnancy have been exposed to nightwork, the studie will gain knowledge on how early fetal environment may cause later metabolic disturbance during childhood and teenage years. The Danish National Birth Cohort headed by SSI (Statens Serum Institut) invited in the period 1997-2002 all pregnant women in Denmark to participate in a studie where working life status and health was captured. In the baseline interview exposure to nightwork of the mother was measured. The project aims in a case-control study to analyze if childhood metabolic diseases (ie obesity and diabetes) at follow-ups at year 11 and 14 and in Patient Registries are related to mother's shiftwork exposure. In summary the project is highlighting fetal development and how different light/dark exposures in working life during pregnancy may affect metabolic development in the offspring. In a society were metabolic disturbances are increasing due to a western lifestyle and an embrace of a 24-hour society many individuals will continue to be exposed to shiftwork. From a health perspective it is important to capture risks in working life to be able to suggest preventive actions. (AU)

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