Aamuun and Asad are refugees from Somalia currently living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aamuun was pregnant when the couple arrived. During the first 4 months of Aamuun’s pregnancy, she lived on very meager food portions. After arriving in the United States, her diet improved greatly. She gave birth to a healthy girl of normal birth weight. The family is having some difficulty adjusting to their new home, but they are receiving help and support from their new community. Fortunately, they will continue to have access to health care as their baby grows and develops.
1. How might Aamuun’s meager food intake affect the long-term development of their baby?
2. How does this case illustrate potential epigenetic changes?
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3. Will Aamuun’s and Asad’s grandchildren be at an increased risk of disease due to epigenetic changes? Why or why not?
4. What can health-care professionals do to support this family?