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Oregon Life Course Network

The Oregon Life Course Network is a group of public health researchers and practitioners from many institutions, including the Oregon Health Authority, OHSU, Portland State University, Western Oregon University, Oregon Public Health Institute, and Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. The network has been meeting since February 2013.

Life course theory explores the impact of early events on later health outcomes. For example, the children of pregnant women exposed to famine (in the Dutch famine of 1944) were more susceptible to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and schizophrenia as adults. Life course theory is very broad: it spans preconception to old age and encompasses several different theories.


February 5, 2013: organizational meeting (minutes, pdf)

April 8, 2013: Siobhan Maty, Western Oregon University: “A Brief Overview of Life Course Epidemiology” (pdf)

June 7, 2013: Susan Bagby, OHSU: “Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease: You Are What Your Mother & Grandmother Ate” (pdf)

July 25, 2013: Wendy Shultis, OHSU: “Practical Applications of Life Course Research” (pdf)

November 25, 2013: Lynne C. Messer, PhD: "Translating life course theory to clinical practice to address health disparities" (pdf)
Holly Horan, OSU: "Turning the Ship: Making the Shift to a Life-Course Framework" (pdf)
Jessica Marcinkevage, PhD: "Sex-specific effects of fetal exposure to the 1959-61 Chinese Famine on risk of adult hypertension" (pdf)

January 27, 2014: Liz Adams, PhD, RD: "Life Course Perspective: Evidence for the Role of Nutrition" (pdf)


  1. Life Course Approach
  2. Dutch Famine of 1944
  3. Lu MC, Halfon N. Racial and ethnic disparities in birth outcomes: a life-course perspective., Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2003 Mar;7(1):13-30.
  4. Milton Kotelchuck lecture about Life Course Perspective, 2010.
  5. U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Rethinking MCH: The Life Course Model as an Organizing Framework: Concept Paper. November, 2010.

For more information, contact Ken Rosenberg at