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Pediatric Type 2 Diabetes: Prevention and Treatment Through a Life Course Health Development Framework

By Pamela Salsberry, Rika Tanda, Sarah E. Anderson, and Manmohan K. Kamboj

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Estimates project that one in three US adults may have diabetes in 2050. Until very recently, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) was a disease diagnosed in adults, but as the childhood obesity epidemic has spread, the diagnosis of T2DM in adolescents has become more common. Early indicators suggest that the disease may be more severe and more difficult to manage when diagnosed in adolescents. It is projected that adolescents with T2DM will lose approximately 15 years of life. The economic burden of T2DM rises significantly as the years with disease increase. This grim forecast highlights …

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Early in the Life Course: Time for Obesity Prevention

By Summer Sherburne Hawkins, Emily Oken, and Matthew W. Gillman

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: One of the reasons for the intractability of childhood obesity is the underappreciation of the complexity and interconnectedness of contributing factors across the life course. A multilevel approach for obesity prevention takes into account individual risk factors that operate “above water” (family, neighborhood, policies) and the interaction with biology and “underwater” influences (genetics, epigenetics, physiology) and recognizes that these factors also interact across the life course, starting before birth. We organize this chapter to reflect phases of life course health development, prenatally through adolescence, that appear to be most important for the development of …

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Pregnancy Characteristics and Women’s Cardiovascular Health

By Abigail Fraser, Janet M. Catov, Deborah A. Lawlor, and Janet W. Rich-Edwards

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Growing evidence indicates that women with a history of common pregnancy complications, including fetal growth restriction and preterm delivery (often combined as low birth weight), hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and gestational diabetes are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease later in life. Here we review the associations of parity and these four pregnancy complications with cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and the role of cardiovascular risk factors before, during, and after pregnancy complications in explaining these associations. We explore the implications of these findings for research in life course health science and policy intended to …

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Emerging Adulthood as a Critical Stage in the Life Course

By David Wood, Tara Crapnell, Lynette Lau, Ashley Bennett, Debra Lotstein, Maria Ferris. and Alice Kuo

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Emerging adulthood, viewed through the lens of life course health development, has the potential to be a very positive developmental stage with postindustrial societies giving adolescents and emerging adults a greater opportunity for choice and exploration but also greater challenges with greater educational and social role requirements. The loss of supports and structures offered by schools, families, and child- and family-oriented health and social services means that the emerging adult must rely more on his/her own resources in a less structured environment. This increased agency in the context of less structure is occurring as …

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Adolescent Health Development: A Relational Developmental Systems Perspective

By Richard M. Lerner, Claire C. Brindis, Milena Batanova, and Robert Wm. Blum

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: The contemporary study of adolescent development emphasizes that the process of development involves mutually influential relations between the developing individual and the features of his or her complex and changing context. These relations are most often framed by models derived from a relational developmental systems metatheory, an approach to theory that is entirely consistent with the seven principles of life course health development. Concepts associated with these ideas are used to describe, explain, and optimize the course of development in the second decade of life and, as such, to frame applied research aimed at …

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Middle Childhood: An Evolutionary-Developmental Synthesis

By Marco DelGiudice

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Middle childhood—conventionally going from about 6–11 years of age—is a crucial yet underappreciated phase of human development. On the surface, middle childhood may appear like a slow-motion interlude between the spectacular transformations of infancy and early childhood and those of adolescence. In reality, this life stage is anything but static: the transition from early to middle childhood heralds a global shift in cognition, motivation, and social behavior, with profound and wide-ranging implications for the development of personality, sex differences, and even psychopathology. In the last two decades, converging theories and findings from anthropology, primatology, …

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Early Childhood Health and the Life Course: The State of the Science and Proposed Research Priorities

By W. Thomas Boyce and Clyde Hertzman

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: This chapter begins with an assertion that, beyond the cultural traditions that affirm childhood as a period of special and lasting importance, a new science of child development reveals an influence of the early years throughout the life course. Through processes of “biological embedding,” early developmental experiences and exposures become neurobiologically instantiated in the brain and genome, thereby affecting trajectories of health and development for the remainder of life. The socioeconomic maldistribution of exposures to adversities and misfortune allots a disproportionate share of physical and mental morbidities to those growing up in conditions of …

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Preconception and Prenatal Factors and Metabolic Risk

By Guoying Wang, Tami R. Bartell, and Xiaobin Wang

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: The prenatal period is a critical developmental stage for obesity and metabolic outcomes. In light of the global obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) epidemic and growing evidence of early life origins of obesity and diabetes, early identification of individuals at high risk and early prevention of obesity and metabolic syndrome are a key to achieve primary prevention and reverse the trends of the obesity and T2DM epidemics. This chapter will discuss the impact of important preconceptional and prenatal factors, including maternal obesity and/or diabetes, gestational weight gain, and maternal micronutrient status, on in …

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The Emerging Theoretical Framework of Life Course Health Development

By Neal Halfon and Christopher B. Forrest

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.   Abstract: Concepts of what constitutes health, and theories about how health is produced and optimized, are constantly evolving in response to myriad social and cultural expectations shaped by our contemporary worldview, scientific advances, improvements in health interventions, and the changing capacity of the health system. Stimulated originally by a series of studies demonstrating how growth during early life is related to chronic health conditions that emerge many decades later, new research is demonstrating how complex developmental processes integrate a range of biological, behavioral, social, and environmental influences that modify gene expression, modulate physiologic and behavioral …

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Handbook of Life Course Health Development

By Neal Halfon, Christopher B. Forrest, Richard M. Lerner, Elaine M. Faustman

ONLINE VERSION OUT NOW! This handbook synthesizes and analyzes the growing knowledge base on life course health development (LCHD) from the prenatal period through emerging adulthood, with implications for clinical practice and public health. It presents LCHD as an innovative field with a sound theoretical framework for understanding wellness and disease from a lifespan perspective, replacing previous medical, biopsychosocial, and early genomic models of health. Interdisciplinary chapters discuss major health concerns (diabetes, obesity), important less-studied conditions (hearing, kidney health), and large-scale issues (nutrition, adversity) from a lifespan viewpoint. In addition, chapters address methodological approaches and challenges by analyzing existing measures, studies, and surveys. The book concludes with the editors’ research …

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