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Searching the web: a survey on the quality of advice on postnatal sequelae of intrauterine growth restriction and the implication of developmental origins of health and disease

  • S. Perzel (a1), H. Huebner (a2), W. Rascher (a1), C. Menendez-Castro (a1), A. Hartner (a1) and F. B. Fahlbusch (a1)...


Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and fetal growth restriction (FGR) are pregnancy complications associated with morbidity in later life. Despite a growing body of evidence from current research on developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD), little information is currently provided to parents on long-term metabolic, cardiovascular and neurologic consequences. As parents strongly rely on internet-based health-related information, we examined the quality of information on IUGR/FGR sequelae and DOHaD in webpages used by laypersons. Simulating non-clinicians experience, we entered the terms ‘IUGR consequences’ and ‘FGR consequences’ into Google and Yahoo search engines. The quality of the top search-hits was analyzed with regard to the certification through the Health On the Net Foundation (HON), currentness of cited references, while reliability of information and DOHaD-related consequences were assessed via the DISCERN Plus score (DPS). Overall the citation status was not up-to-date and only a few websites were HON-certified. The results of our analysis showed a dichotomy between the growing body of evidence regarding IUGR/FGR-related sequelae and lack of current guidelines, leaving parents without clear directions. Furthermore, detailed information on the concept of DOHaD is not provided. These findings emphasize the responsibility of the individual physician for providing advice on IUGR/FGR-related sequelae, monitoring and follow-up.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: F. B. Fahlbusch, Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Loschgestr. 15, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. (Email:


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Searching the web: a survey on the quality of advice on postnatal sequelae of intrauterine growth restriction and the implication of developmental origins of health and disease

  • S. Perzel (a1), H. Huebner (a2), W. Rascher (a1), C. Menendez-Castro (a1), A. Hartner (a1) and F. B. Fahlbusch (a1)...


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