Next Article in Journal
Supplementation with Phycocyanobilin, Citrulline, Taurine, and Supranutritional Doses of Folic Acid and Biotin—Potential for Preventing or Slowing the Progression of Diabetic Complications
Next Article in Special Issue
Translating Developmental Origins: Improving the Health of Women and Their Children Using a Sustainable Approach to Behaviour Change
Previous Article in Journal
Knowledge, Attitude and Behaviours towards Recommended Vaccinations among Healthcare Workers
Previous Article in Special Issue
Reducing Low Birth Weight among African Americans in the Midwest: A Look at How Faith-Based Organizations Are Poised to Inform and Influence Health Communication on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Healthcare 2017, 5(1), 14;

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

Medical Research Council Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
Institute of Developmental Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton S016 5YA, UK
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
Full-Text   |   PDF [413 KB, uploaded 8 March 2017]   |  


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

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Healthcare EISSN 2227-9032 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top