Maternal diseases of pregnancy have been found to detrimentally affect the fetal circulatory system, with consequences lasting well into adulthood. In 1995, Barker introduced the idea that major disorders of adult life (including coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke and diabetes) arise not only through an interaction between factors in our lifestyle, such as a high-fat diet, obesity and smoking, and a genetically determined susceptibility but also through development in utero [1]. Epidemiological evidence continues to support the notion that adult cardiovascular disease (CVD) has fetal origins [2–5].

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