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International Women's Day 2022


International Women’s Day 2022: Women’s Health

International Women’s Day is celebrated every year around the world on 8th March. Its purpose is to raise awareness and celebrate women’s achievements. We are asked to imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

International Women’s Day has a number of missions, a key one being ‘Women’s Health’.

WOMEN’S HEALTH MISSION: To assist women to be in a position of power to make informed decisions about their health

At the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, we actively support this mission on an ongoing basis. Read about some of our initiatives and research below.

On Monday 7th March 2022, UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science Associate Professor Clare Corish gave a Public Lecture focused on Women’s Health and Nutrition. Attendees joined both online and in-person at the Lynch Lecture Theatre, UCD O’Brien Centre for Science.


Women with disabilities in conflict affected or low-income countries (LICs) are one of the most vulnerable groups in the world. There is substantial evidence that women with disabilities face pronounced disadvantages such as poverty, unemployment, gender-based and other forms of violence. Amputation is the most common clinical presentation among women with disabilities presenting to Physical Rehabilitation Centres (PRCs) supported by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).1 Yet, there is a dearth of evidence about rehabilitation for women with amputation where the burden of disability is greatest: in low income and conflict affected countries.

The GRACE Project is a collaboration between UCD, Linköping University, Sweden, Wolaita Sodo University Ethiopia, WHO Collaborating Centre for Research on Surgical Care Delivery in LMICs, HBNI University, India, SINTEF, Norway, Exceed Worldwide and the International Committee of the Red Cross. GRACE is a 3-year project funded by the Swedish Research Council.

The purpose of the GRACE project is to better understand the impact of gender on injury profiles, clinical characteristics, access to and acceptability of rehabilitation services in order to promote gender sensitive approaches to rehabilitation so that health outcomes are optimised for all people with amputation in conflict affected environments.

The first study examined data from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Iraq, Myanmar and Sudan for 28,446 people with amputation and found that just 15.2% (4,329) were female.2 Most presentations were traumatic amputations (73.4%, 20,890); of these, 48.6% (13,801) were conflict related. The young age for traumatic and non-traumatic amputations indicates the devastating impact of war and fragile health systems on a society. Long delays between amputation and beginning rehabilitation (8 years for traumatic and 3 years for non-traumatic amputation) reveal the mismatch of needs and resources.

The second phase of this research will generate new and in-depth knowledge about how gender interacts with social and cultural factors and processes in two low-income settings and how this interaction impacts the chain of access to and acceptability of rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. Community based participatory research approaches will be used in Cambodia and Ethiopia to understand the perspectives of men and women with amputation about different components of access such as physical accessibility, acceptability, affordability, appropriateness, availability and perceptions of rehabilitation. The perspectives of health workers and community leaders will be sought to understand how gender aspects impact access to services, service delivery and health outcomes in Cambodia and Ethiopia.

The results of these studies will inform rehabilitation service development, particularly in terms of ways to encourage and enhance uptake of rehabilitation services for women, thereby enhancing their potential to participate fully in education and the workforce, creating better living conditions and opportunities for them, their children and their families.


1. Barth CA, Wladis A, Blake C, Bhandarkar P, O’Sullivan C. (opens in a new window)Users of rehabilitation services in 14 countries and territories affected by conflict, 1988–2018. Bull World Health Organ 2020

2. Barth CA, Wladis A, Blake C, Bhandarkar P, Aebischer Perone S, O’Sullivan C. (opens in a new window)Retrospective observational study of characteristics of persons with amputations accessing International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) rehabilitation centres in five conflict and post conflict countries. BMJ Open 2021

At the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science, our staff and student researchers have produced extensive research in several key areas of Women’s Health.


(opens in a new window)The mechanical loading and muscle activation of four common exercises used in osteoporosis prevention for early postmenopausal women

Authors: Montgomery G, Abt G, Dobson C, Smith T, Evans W, Ditroilo M

Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology (2019)

(opens in a new window)A 12-month continuous and intermittent high-impact exercise intervention and its effects on bone mineral density in early postmenopausal women: A feasibility randomized controlled trial

Authors: Montgomery GJ, Grant A.B.T., Dobson C.A., Evans J, Mo A.Y.E., Ditroilo M

Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (2020)



(opens in a new window)Pregnancy diet and offspring asthma risk over a 10-year period: The Lifeways Cross Generation Cohort Study, Ireland

Authors: Viljoen K, Segurado R, O'Brien J, Murrin C, Mehegan J, Kelleher C.C.

BMJ Open (2018)


(opens in a new window)Associations of maternal caffeine intake with birth outcomes: Results from the Lifeways Cross Generation Cohort Study

Authors: Chen L.W., Fitzgerald R, Murrin C.M., Mehegan J, Kelleher C.C., Phillips C.M.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2018)


(opens in a new window)The pathophysiology of gestational diabetes mellitus

Authors: Plows J.F., Stanley J.L., Baker P.N., Reynolds C.M., Vickers M.H.

International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2018)


(opens in a new window)Pregnancy exercise and nutrition with smartphone application support a randomized controlled trial

Authors: Kennelly M.A., Ainscough K, Lindsay K.L., O'Sullivan E, Gibney E.R., McCarthy M, Segurado R, DeVito G, Maguire O, Smith T, Hatunic M, McAuliffe F.M.

Obstetrics and Gynecology (2018)

(opens in a new window)Parental population exposure to historical socioeconomic and political periods and grand-child's birth weight in the Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study in the Republic of Ireland

Authors: Mejia-Lancheros C, Mehegan J, Segurado R, Murrin C, Kelleher C

SSM - Population Health (2018)


(opens in a new window)Exploring full cervical dilatation caesarean sections–A retrospective cohort study

Authors: Corry E.M.A., Ramphul M, Rowan A.M., Segurado R, Mahony R.M., Keane D.P.

European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology (2018)


(opens in a new window)Preclinical models of altered early life nutrition and development of reproductive disorders in female offspring

Authors: Bridge-Comer P.E., Vickers M.H., Reynolds C.M.

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (2019)


(opens in a new window)Deriving the dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) score in women from seven pregnancy cohorts from the European alphabet consortium

Authors: Aubert A.M., Forhan A, de Lauzon-Guillain B, Chen L.-W., Polanska K, Hanke W, Jankowska A, Mensink-Bout S.M., Duijts L, Suderman M, Relton C.L., Crozier S.R., Harvey N.C., Cooper C, McAuliffe F.M., Kelleher C.C., Phillips C.M., Heude B, Bernard J.Y.

Nutrients (2019)

(opens in a new window)Adherence to the healthy eating index-2015 across generations is associated with birth outcomes and weight status at age 5 in the lifeways cross-generation cohort study

Authors: Navarro P, Mehegan J, Murrin C.M., Kelleher C.C., Phillips C.M.

Nutrients (2019)

(opens in a new window)Impact of maternal education on response to lifestyle interventions to reduce gestational weight gain: Individual participant data meta-Analysis

Authors: O'Brien E.C., Segurado R, Geraghty A.A., Alberdi G, Rogozinska E, Astrup A, Barakat Carballo R, Bogaerts A, Cecatti J.G., Coomarasamy A, De Groot C.J.M., Devlieger R, Dodd J.M., El Beltagy N, Facchinetti F, Geiker N, Guelfi K, Haakstad L, Harrison C, Hauner H, Jensen D.M., Khan K, Kinnunen T.I., Luoto R, Willem Mol B, Mørkved S, Motahari-Tabari N, Owens J.A., Perales M, Petrella E, Phelan S, Poston L, Rauh K, Rayanagoudar G, Renault K.M., Ruifrok A.E., Sagedal L, Salvesen K.Å., Scudeller T.T., Shen G, Shub A, Stafne S.N., Surita F.G., Thangaratinam S, Tonstad S, Van Poppel M.N.M., Vinter C, Vistad I, Yeo S, McAuliffe F.M.

BMJ Open (2019)

(opens in a new window)Maternal undernutrition results in altered renal pro-inflammatory gene expression concomitant with hypertension in adult male offspring that is ameliorated following pre-weaning growth hormone treatment

Authors: Zhang X.D., Reynolds C.M., Gray C, Li M, Vickers M.H.

Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (2019)

(opens in a new window)Cesarean delivery rates using Robson classification system in Ireland: What can we learn?

Authors: Crosby D.A., Murphy M.M., Segurado R, Byrne F, Mahony R, Robson M, McAuliffe F.M.

European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology (2019)

(opens in a new window)Limited Impact of Fetal Sex and Maternal Body Mass Index on Fetal and Maternal Insulin Resistance and Lipid Metabolism: Findings from the PEARs Study

Authors: Rafferty A.R., Geraghty A.A., Kennelly M.A., O’Brien E.C., Reji R.M., Mehegan J, Segurado R, Smith T, Maguire O, Cronin M, McAuliffe F.M.

Reproductive Sciences (2020)

(opens in a new window)Fetal growth trajectories and their association with maternal and child characteristics

Authors: Bartels H.C., O’Connor C, Segurado R, Mason O, Mehegan J, Geraghty A.A., O’Brien E, Walsh J, McAuliffe F

Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine (2020)

(opens in a new window)Associations between a maternal healthy lifestyle score and adverse offspring birth outcomes and childhood obesity in the Lifeways Cross-Generation Cohort Study

Authors: Navarro P, Mehegan J, Murrin C.M., Kelleher C.C., Phillips C.M.

International Journal of Obesity (2020)

(opens in a new window)The impact of fetal umbilical artery Doppler pulsatility index on childhood respiratory function and atopy: a prospective case-control study

Authors: Mone F, Thompson A, Stewart M.C., Segurado R, Curry J, Dornan J.C., McAuliffe F.M., Shields M.D.

Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine (2020)

(opens in a new window)Preterm human milk: associations between perinatal factors and hormone concentrations throughout lactation

Authors: Galante L, Reynolds C.M., Milan A.M., Alexander T, Bloomfield F.H., Cameron-Smith D, Pundir S, Vickers M.H., Harding J, Meyer M, Alsweiler J, Jiang Y, Wall C, O’Sullivan J, Mitic S, van den Boom J

Pediatric Research (2021)

(opens in a new window)Consumer perceptions on the origin of infant formula: A survey with urban Chinese mothers

Authors: Shan L.C., Li C, Yu Z, Regan Á, Lu T, Wall P

Journal of Dairy Research (2021)

(opens in a new window)It's the Destination and the Journey—A Mapping of the Challenges in Transport and Referral for Maternal and Newborn Health in Pandemics and Beyond

Authors: Sacks E, Brizuela V, Perrotta C

Frontiers in Public Health (2021)

(opens in a new window)Associations of maternal dietary inflammatory potential and quality with offspring birth outcomes: An individual participant data pooled analysis of 7 European cohorts in the ALPHABET consortium

Authors: Chen L.-W., Aubert A.M., Shivappa N, Bernard J.Y., Mensink-Bout S.M., Geraghty A.A., Mehegan J, Suderman M, Polanska K, Hanke W, Trafalska E, Relton C.L., Crozier S.R., Harvey N.C., Cooper C, Duijts L, Heude B, Hébert J.R., McAuliffe F.M., Kelleher C.C., Phillips C.M.

PLoS Medicine (2021)

(opens in a new window)Maternal exercise alters rat fetoplacental stress response: Minimal effects of maternal growth restriction and high-fat feeding

Authors: Mangwiro Y.T., Cuffe J.S., Vickers M.H., Reynolds C.M., Mahizir D, Anevska K, Gravina S, Romano T, Moritz K.M., Briffa J.F., Wlodek M.E.

Placenta (2021)

(opens in a new window)Chapter 2: Maternal Nutrition and the Risk of Obesity and Diabetes in the Offspring

Authors: Reynolds C.M., Bridge-Comer P.E., Vickers M.H.

Food Chemistry, Function and Analysis (2021)

(opens in a new window)Bump2Baby and Me: protocol for a randomised trial of mHealth coaching for healthy gestational weight gain and improved postnatal outcomes in high-risk women and their children

Authors: O’Reilly S.L., Burden C, Campoy C, McAuliffe F.M., Teede H, Andresen J, Campbell K.J., Geraghty A.A., Harrison C.L., Laws R, Norman J.E., Maindal H.T., Vrangbæk K, Segurado R, Versace V.L., Skinner T.C.

Trials (2021)

(opens in a new window)Optimizing the use of cesarean section in Argentina: design and methodology of a formative research for the development of interventions

Authors: Ramos S, Romero M, Perrotta C, Sguassero Y, Straw C, Gialdini C, Righetti N, Betran A.P.

Reproductive Health (2021)

(opens in a new window)Dietary Quality and Dietary Inflammatory Potential During Pregnancy and Offspring Emotional and Behavioral Symptoms in Childhood: An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis of Four European Cohorts

Authors: Polanska K, Kaluzny P, Aubert A.M., Bernard J.Y., Duijts L, El Marroun H, Hanke W, Hébert J.R., Heude B, Jankowska A, Mancano G, Mensink-Bout S.M., Relton C, Shivappa N, Suderman M, Trafalska E, Wesolowska E, Garcia-Esteban R, Guxens M, Casas M, Phillips, C.M.

Biological Psychiatry (2021)

(opens in a new window)Metabolic Hormone Profiles in Breast Milk From Mothers of Moderate-Late Preterm Infants Are Associated With Growth From Birth to 4 Months in a Sex-Specific Manner

Authors: Galante L, Reynolds C.M., Milan A.M., Alexander T, Bloomfield F.H., Jiang Y, Asadi S, Muelbert M, Cameron-Smith D, Pundir S, Vickers M.H.

Frontiers in Nutrition (2021)

(opens in a new window)Caesarean birth in public maternities in Argentina: A formative research study on the views of obstetricians, midwives and trainees

Authors: Perrotta C, Romero M, Sguassero Y, Straw C, Gialdini C, Righetti N, Betran A.P., Ramos S

BMJ Open (2022)

(opens in a new window)Maternal C3 complement and C-reactive protein and pregnancy and fetal outcomes: A secondary analysis of the PEARS RCT-An mHealth-supported, lifestyle intervention among pregnant women with overweight and obesity

Authors: Kennelly M.A., Killeen S.L., Phillips C.M., Alberdi G, Lindsay K.L., Mehegan J, Cronin M, McAuliffe F.M.

Cytokine (2022)



(opens in a new window)Evolution of the national breast screening programme in Ireland: Two-year interval analysis (2004-2013) of breastcheck

Authors: Fitzpatrick P.E., Greehy G, Mooney M.T., Flanagan F, Larke A, Connors A, O’Doherty A

Journal of Medical Screening (2018)

(opens in a new window)Establishment of a national cervical screening programme in Ireland, CervicalCheck: The first 6 years

Authors: Flannelly G.M., Mooney M.T., Greehy G.M., Keogh E.B., McNally S.A., Fitzpatrick P.E.

European Journal of Cancer Prevention (2018)


(opens in a new window)Low-grade screen-detected ductal carcinoma in situ progresses more slowly than high-grade lesions: evidence from an international multi-centre study

Authors: Ponti A, Ronco G, Lynge E, Tomatis M, Anttila A, Ascunce N, Broeders M, Bulliard J.-L., Castellano I, Fitzpatrick P, Frigerio A, Hofvind S, Májek O, Segnan N, Taplin S

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (2019)


(opens in a new window)Patient experiences of rehabilitation and the potential for an mhealth system with biofeedback after breast cancer surgery: Qualitative study

Authors: Brennan L, Kessie T, Caulfield B

JMIR mHealth and uHealth (2020)

(opens in a new window)Breast cancer survivors' perspectives on motivational and personalization strategies in mobile app-based physical activity coaching interventions: Qualitative study

Authors: Monteiro-Guerra F, Signorelli G.R., Rivera-Romero O, Dorronzoro-Zubiete E, Caulfield B

JMIR mHealth and uHealth (2020)

(opens in a new window)Interval cancer audit and disclosure in cervical screening programmes: An international survey

Authors: Fitzpatrick P, Mooney T, Byrne H, Healy O, Russell N, O’Reilly S

Journal of Medical Screening (2020)



(opens in a new window)Low Energy Availability in Athletes: A Review of Prevalence, Dietary Patterns, Physiological Health, and Sports Performance

Authors: Logue D, Madigan S.M., Delahunt E, Heinen M, Mc Donnell S.-J., Corish C.A.

Sports Medicine (2018)

(opens in a new window)Screening for risk of low energy availability in athletic and recreationally active females in Ireland

Authors: Logue D.M., Madigan S.M., Heinen M, McDonnell S.-J., Delahunt E, Corish C.A.

European Journal of Sport Science (2019)

(opens in a new window)Low volume, home-based weighted step exercise training can improve lower limb muscle power and functional ability in community-dwelling older women

Authors: Mair J.L., De Vito G, Boreham C.A.

Journal of Clinical Medicine (2019)

(opens in a new window)Position-specific countermovement jump characteristics of elite Women's Rugby World Cup 2017 athletes

Authors: Heffernan S.M., Neville R, Waldron M, Stewart R, Kilduff L.P., Ditroilo M, Grainger A

Movement and Sports Sciences - Science et Motricite (2021)

(opens in a new window)Injuries in elite-level women’s football—a two-year prospective study in the Irish Women’s National League

Authors: Horan D, Blake C, Hägglund M, Kelly S, Roe M, Delahunt E

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports (2022)

(opens in a new window)Impact of training modes on fitness and body composition in women with obesity: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors: Davis M.E., Blake C, Perrotta C, Cunningham C, O’Donoghue G

Obesity (2022)

UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science

University College Dublin Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 7777 | E: public.health@ucd.ie