Plotting new pathways to health - Devhealth Project

24 February 2014

Certain sections of society suffer from poorer health than others. An EU-funded project based in Dublin is analysing multiple types of data to determine which factors most influence health and how new policies can help to reduce ‘health inequalities’.

Typically, inequalities in health emerge very early in life and persist unless there is some intervention or programme provided to reduce them.

The aim of the Devhealth project Understanding health across the lifecourse: An integrated developmental approach is to understand what causes health inequalities over people’s lifetime and across generations and how they can be rectified. In particular, the project is looking at the individual and environmental characteristics, such as our genes, personality, behaviour, etc. which may affect health outcomes. The project is led by Prof. James Heckman, an American Nobel Prize-winning economist from the University of Chicago.

“Devhealth examines how our health is influenced by our cognitive skills, such as our IQ and mental capacities, as well as our socio-emotional and behavioural skills, like our personality traits and social skills,” says Dr Orla Doyle, research fellow at UCD’s Geary Institute and a member of Prof. Heckman’s team. She is the project leader for one of Devhealth’s research areas focusing on the health benefits of early childhood interventions.

Full arcticle here

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