Early life is an important window of opportunity to improve health across the full lifecycle. Exposure to stressors just before or during pregnancy or during early childhood leads to developmental adaptations, which subsequently affect life course and disease risk. Europe has a strong tradition in population-based prospective cohort studies from pregnancy or childhood onwards. These cohorts are invaluable resources to identify a wide range of early-life stressors in connection with individual biological, developmental and health trajectory variations related to the onset and evolution of non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The general objective of LifeCycle is to bring together pregnancy and child cohort studies into a new, open and sustainable EuroCHILD Cohort Network, to use this network for identification of novel markers of early-life stressors affecting health trajectories throughout the lifecycle, and translate findings into policy recommendations for stratifies and targeting prevention strategies.

The more specific objectives of LifeCycle are:

  • Establish a new, open and long-term multidisciplinary EuroCHILD Cohort Network
  • Enrich the EuroCHILD Cohort Network with novel integrated data on early-life stressors
  • Identify early-life stressors influencing developmental adaptation and risk of NCDs during lifecycle
  • Develop analytical methods for causal inference and longitudinal modeling in observational cohort studies
  • Identify DNA methylation markers mediating the relations of early-life stressors and health trajectories
  • Identify interventions on early-life stressors that affect life course health and develop recommendations
  • Generate personalized risk prediction models in eHealth applications based on early-life stressors

Contact: Professor Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen