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Health Disparities: A Life Course Health Development Perspective and Future Research Directions

By Kandyce Larson, Shirley A. Russ, Robert S. Kahn, Glenn Flores, Elizabeth Goodman, Tina L. Cheng, and Neal Halfon

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Historically, research examining health status disparities between members in different socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic groups often focused on adults and the concurrent lifestyle factors that might explain health differentials. Recent years have witnessed an explosion of interest in the developmental origins of adult health and disease, and life course-oriented research has proliferated across the social, biological, and health sciences. This chapter describes how an integrated life course health development framework can be applied to advance our understanding of the dynamic and multilevel processes contributing to health disparities across lifetimes and even generations. Examples of …

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How Socioeconomic Disadvantages Get Under the Skin and into the Brain to Influence Health Development Across the Lifespan

By Pilyoung Kim, Gary W. Evans, Edith Chen, Gregory Miller, and Teresa Seeman

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Socioeconomic disadvantage (SED) has adverse impacts on physical (Adler and Rehkopf 2008; Blair and Raver 2012; Braverman and Egerter 2008; Cohen et al. 2010; Poulton et al. 2002) and psychological (Adler and Rehkopf 2008; Bradley and Corwyn 2002; Grant et al. 2003) health development. SED is similar to low socioeconomic status (SES) which is based on occupation, income, and education or a composite of more than one of these indicators (McLoyd 1998). However, we conceptualize SED more broadly than socioeconomic status to also include subjective perception of social position and contextual indicators of disadvantage, …

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From Epidemiology to Epigenetics: Evidence for the Importance of Nutrition to Optimal Health Development Across the Life Course

By Marion Taylor Baer and Dena Herman

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Nutrition is a young science. For thousands of years, foods and herbs were a major component in the armamentarium of the physician and his predecessors.   Nutrition is a desperately neglected aspect of maternal, newborn and child health. The reasons for this neglect are understandable, but not justifiable. Richard Horton BSc MB FRCP FMedSci, Editor-in-Chief, the Lancet (Horton2008)   Read full article

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Growth and Life Course Health Development

By Amanda Mummert, Meriah Schoen, and Michelle Lampl

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Physical growth is an emergent process integrating a complex network of social, biological, and environmental interactions. The global diversity of body shapes and sizes reflects developmental plasticity in response to environmental exposures, both advantageous and adverse, and depicts an evolutionarily robust strategy for species’ survival. Epidemiologic surveillance efforts demonstrate that early life skeletal growth and body composition trajectories are associated with and predict adult chronic disease risks. Both human and animal studies have provided an evidentiary base for the physiological mechanisms by which differences in growth processes manifest as cell- and organ-level changes that …

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Chronic Kidney Disease: A Life Course Health Development Perspective

By Patrick D. Brophy, Jennifer R. Charlton, J. Bryan Carmody, Kimberly J. Reidy, Lyndsay Harshman, Jeffrey Segar, David Askenazi, David Shoham, and Susan P. Bagby

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) reflects life events that range from maternal-fetal influences to geriatric exposures. The global direct and indirect costs of CKD are high and include maternal-neonatal hospitalization and treatment, acute kidney injury, dialysis and transplant, missed work, and medications, to name a few. The impact of poor diet, adverse childhood experiences, medication use, and failure to follow consistent public health standards are increasingly appreciated as key influences in the development of CKD. Socioeconomic factors can significantly influence the timing and phenotypic expression in people at risk for developing CKD, although more research …

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A Life Course Approach to Hearing Health

By Shirley A. Russ, Kelly Tremblay, Neal Halfon, and Adrian Davis

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Challenges to hearing health are a significant public health problem. At least ten million Americans have a hearing loss that interferes with the understanding of normal speech. If lesser degrees of loss are included, the number rises to 28 million. Although there have been considerable advances in understanding the etiology of hearing loss, with genetic causes now thought to account for up to 50% of congenital losses, in many individual cases, the cause of hearing loss remains unknown. This lack of knowledge of the basic pathophysiology of hearing difficulties hampers prevention and treatment efforts. …

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Life Course Health Development Outcomes After Prematurity: Developing a Community, Clinical, and Translational Research Agenda to Optimize Health, Behavior, and Functioning

By Michael E. Msall, Sarah A. Sobotka, Amelia Dmowska, Dennis Hogan, and Mary Sullivan

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Long-term survival for infants born extremely prematurely (<28 weeks of gestation) and extremely low birth weight (<1000 g) has increased dramatically due to obstetrical and neonatal advances. However, poverty, inequality, and resulting health disparities are significant contributors to women who give birth to preterm infants and also impact their children’s healthy development and education. While the vast majority of survivors of extreme prematurity do not have the most severe forms of neurodevelopmental disability (i.e., cerebral palsy, blindness, sensorineural hearing loss >55 dB, and intellectual disability), half of survivors can be expected to require special education services at …

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A Life Course Health Development Perspective on Oral Health

By James J. Crall and Christopher B. Forrest

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: This chapter outlines major concepts and principles embodied in the Life Course Health Development framework, examines evidence relating various aspects of major oral health-related conditions to this framework, and includes recommendations for advancing research and policy concerning oral health. LCHD provides a highly useful approach for understanding oral health determinants, disparities, and influences on general health and well-being and for advancing knowledge, policies, and programs to optimize health across individuals and populations. Substantial gaps exist in our current knowledge concerning how oral health is developed and influenced across the lifespan and the —pathways and …

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By Megan McClelland, John Geldhof, Fred Morrison, Steinunn Gestsdóttir, Claire Cameron, Ed Bowers, Angela Duckworth, Todd Little, and Jennie Grammer

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Self-regulation has been shown to have important implications for individual trajectories of health and well-being across the life course. The present chapter examines the development of self-regulation from a life course health development (LCHD) perspective. Using the seven principles of LCHD and the relational developmental systems (RDS) framework, the chapter focuses on the importance of self-regulation for health and well-being over time and across contexts and examines the pathways of self-regulation including the individual, contextual, and sociocultural factors that influence the development of these skills over time, methods for studying self-regulation, and translational issues. …

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Life Course Health Development in Autism Spectrum Disorders

By Irene E. Drmic, Peter Szatmari, and Fred Volkmar

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.     Abstract: Life course health development (LCHD) incorporates theories and empirical evidence from the biological, physical, and social sciences to formulate a framework that explains how health develops over the life course. The life course health development conceptual framework can be applied to autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to help prioritize a research agenda and improve health development across the lifespan for individuals with ASD, their families, and communities. The following chapter highlights some issues and findings that are pertinent to an understanding of ASD using the lens of the life course health development principles. The …

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