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Body size, nutrition and socioeconomic position (SEP) in early life have been associated with a wide range of long-term health effects. Epigenetics is one possible mechanism through which these early life exposures can impact later life health. We conducted a systematic review examining the observational evidence for the impact of body size, nutrition and SEP in early life on the epigenome in humans. This systematic review is registered with the PROSPERO database (registration number: CRD42016050193). Three datasets were simultaneously searched using Ovid and the resulting studies were evaluated by at least two independent reviewers. Studies measuring epigenetic markers either at the same time as, or after, the early life exposure and have a measure of body size, nutrition or SEP in early life (up to 12 years), written in English and from a community-dwelling participants were included.

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