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Healthcare 2017, 5(1), 14; doi:10.3390/healthcare5010014

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: A Lifecourse Approach to the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases

1
Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
2
Institute of Developmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton S016 5YA, UK
3
National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton, NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sampath Parthasarathy
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [413 KB, uploaded 8 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, affect individuals in all countries worldwide. Given the very high worldwide prevalence of NCDs across a range of human pathology, it is clear that traditional approaches targeting those at most risk in older adulthood will not efficiently ameliorate this growing burden. It will thus be essential to robustly identify determinants of NCDs across the entire lifecourse and, subsequently, appropriate interventions at every stage to reduce an individual’s risk of developing these conditions. A lifecourse approach has the potential to prevent NCDs, from before conception through fetal life, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and into older age. In this paper, we describe the origins of the lifecourse concept, the importance of early life influences, for example during pregnancy, examine potential underlying mechanisms in both cell biology and behavior change, and finally describe current efforts to develop interventions that take a lifecourse approach to NCD prevention. Two principal approaches to improving women’s nutritional status are outlined: nutritional supplementation and behavior change. View Full-Text
Keywords: lifecourse; NCDs (non-communicable diseases); prevention; intervention lifecourse; NCDs (non-communicable diseases); prevention; intervention
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Baird, J.; Jacob, C.; Barker, M.; Fall, C.H.D.; Hanson, M.; Harvey, N.C.; Inskip, H.M.; Kumaran, K.; Cooper, C. Developmental Origins of Health and Disease: A Lifecourse Approach to the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases. Healthcare 2017, 5, 14.

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