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[Series] Human reproduction and health: an evolutionary perspective

According to life history theory, increased investment in reproductive function (physiology and behaviour) at different times throughout the life course affects the risk of many diseases and, ultimately, longevity. Although genetic factors contribute to interindividual and interpopulation variation in reproductive traits, the dominant source of variability is phenotypic plasticity during development and adult life. Reproductive traits in both sexes evolved sensitivity to ecological conditions, as reflected in contemporary associations of hormone concentrations with geographical setting, nutritional status, and physical activity level.

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