Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in the Lifecycle



1.    Describe the advantages of the Life Cycle approach in health promotion and disease prevention.

 2.    Identify the key determinants of health and the leading causes of morbidity and mortality throughout the life cycle.

 3.    Identify opportunities for disease prevention and health promotion throughout the life cycle, particularly during critical and sensitive periods.

 4.    Identify key determinants of maternal, child and youth health and select evidence based strategies to its promotion.

 5.    Outline the principles of healthy eating throughout the life cycle and the role of physical activity in reducing the burden of disease and promoting a healthy longevity.

 6.    Identify the main strategies of disease control and prevention: the high risk strategy and the population strategy. 

 7.    Identify and discuss the National Programs for Prevention and Control of risk factors and Communicable and Non Communicable diseases.

 8.    Describe the aging phenomenon in Portugal and identify key factors and strategies conducive to a healthy and active aging.


General characterization





Responsible teacher

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Weekly - Available soon

Total - 24

Teaching language



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-     Aboderin, I., Kalache, A., Ben-Shlomo, Y., Lynch, J.W., Yajnik, C.S., Kuh, D., Yach, D. (2002) Life Course Perspectives on Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke and Diabetes: Key Issues and Implications for Policy and Research. Geneva, World Health Organization. 2002.


   WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION – Active Ageing. A policy framework. Geneva: WHO Non communicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster. Non communicable Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Department, 2002.


   Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. The Foundations of lifelong health are built in early childhood, 2010.


   World Health Organization. Global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2020. Geneva:WHO, 2013.


   Direção-Geral de Saúde. Programas Nacionais Prioritários. Consultáveis em:



Teaching method

Theoretical sessions, debates (10%), presentation of group work (30%)and preparation of a monograph (60%).

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

-      The promotion of health in the individual and family life cycle, discussion of the concept.

 -      Critical and sensitive periods in the life cycle - opportunities for disease prevention and health promotion.

 -      Birth and healthy growth: current status and strategies for achieving gains in maternal and child health. 

 -      The mother-child interaction and early childhood intervention. 

 -      The importance of breastfeeding and strategies for its promotion. 

 -      The National Programme for Child and Youth Health promotion;

 -      The National Programme on Immunization; 

 -      The health of young Portuguese. Favorable factors for a healthy adolescence. Learning self-management of health and the prevention of risk behaviors.

 -      Active and healthy adult life. The prevention and control of chronic diseases and health problems most prevalent in Portugal and in Europe. 

 -      Physical activity and healthy nutrition throughout the life cycle. 

 -      The national priority health programs.

 -      The promotion of a healthy and active aging.



Programs where the course is taught: