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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 The network is no longer active. Meeting materials and resources are kept here for reference. 

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.



  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.
  6. Grandma's Experiences Leave a Mark on Your Genes, Discover Magazine, May 2013
  7. Epigenetics: Your DNA is also full of bookmarks. Sarah Pierce, Stanford University.
  8. Epigenetics and Equity, City Club of Portland, Lawrence Wallack, April 24, 2015
  9. Epigenetics and its Implications for Public Health, Lisa Marriott, PhD, January 2016
  10. Studying How Poverty Keeps Hurting Young Minds, and What to Do About It, Jim Dwyer, New York Times, May 3, 2016

For more information, email Maternal and Child Health.