In a report published this week, a child born to a mother with a thin placenta has twice the risk of sudden cardiac death later in life. The study looked at birth records from Finland from the years 1934-1944.
“The researchers looked at cases of sudden cardiac death that occurred outside hospitals. They found that 187 men and 47 women had died of sudden, unexplained cardiac death. Then they looked back at birth records and found the link between thin placentas and sudden cardiac death. They only found an association, however, not a cause-and-effect relationship.” Source
The apparent link may come from malnutrition, which can impact prenatal development. The group of men and women studied were also of lower socioeconomic status and had lower education levels.
Though the study has limitations due to the poor record keeping in hospitals 70 years ago, the findings are valuable. The placenta certainly may be a tool to predict future heart disease, making earlier detection possible.