Health in the Life Cycle


This course aims to understand the overall impact of life course on the epidemiology of the diseases / health problems. More specifically, at the end of the course, the student should be able to:
1. Describe the importance of early life in the development of disease in adulthood.
2. Describe how the risk of developing the disease builds throughout life.
3. Understand the implications of the development and fetal growth in the development of disease.
4. To discern on the implications for policy and research of the epidemiological approach based on the life course.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Abecasis


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 40

Teaching language



Not applicable


• Kuh D, Ben-Shlomo Y. A life course approach to chronic disease epidemiology: tracing the origins of ill-health from early to adult life. 2nd edition. Fully revised. Oxford University Press.
• Ebrahim, Shah and Kalache, Alexandre. (‎1996)‎. Epidemiology in old age / edited by Shah Ebrahim and Alex Kalache. BMJ Publishing Group.
• Jacob S. Siegel. The Demography and Epidemiology of Human Health and Aging. 1 edition. Springer, Dordrecht (2012).

Teaching method

Theoretical sessions and group work with practical examples from real data research.

Evaluation method

Assessment: Individual essay consisting in the analysis of a scientific article.

Subject matter

I. Approach of the disease based on life course.
II. Importance of early life in the development of disease in adulthood.
III. Historical Perspective.
IV. Development of risk of disease throughout life.
V. Development and fetal growth.
VI. Links between health in childhood and adulthood.
VII. Implications for health policy and research.
VIII. Specific epidemiological and statistical methods for study of longitudinal phenomena.


Programs where the course is taught: