HIneC - When do health inequalities start? Understanding the impact of childhood social adversity on health trajectories from birth to early adolescence

Sílvia Fraga

Principal Investigator

Integrated Member (PhD)

Type of project:



PTDC/SAU-PUB/29567/2017 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029567)

Proposing institution:

Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto

Sources of financing:

P2020|COMPETE – Projetos em Todos os Domínios Científicos - FCT

Approval date:


Start date:


(Predicted) End date:


Total budget:

226.191,85 €

Research line:

L2 - Syndemics, health inequalities and vulnerable populations

Research lab:

Social Adversity and Health Inequalities


Low socioeconomic circumstances during childhood are shown to be associated with negative health outcomes in adulthood, and this effect seem to be independent of the social position achieved in adulthood. Little is known about health inequalities development in early life, particularly, when social inequalities matter most and when interventions may have potential to reverse negative consequences. The question driven of this research project is: “When do health inequalities emerge?”. This research will be integrated in the Generation XXI study, a Portuguese birth cohort established in 2005, involving 8647 babies born in Porto. The first wave took place at birth and participants have been invited to regular follow ups, namely at, 4, 7, 10 and 13 years. In the particular context of Portugal, this approach will provide a unique opportunity to explore when health inequalities start but also to conduct a natural experimental study to analyze the impact of policies adopted during this period as well as the impact of the recent economic recession in children trajectories of life and health.

Funding approved by the Competitiveness and Internationalization Operational Program in its FEDER component, by the Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P.

Research team