Rework of Prenatal influences on childhood health: what role for mums and dads? (IEU)

Project Details


What are we investigating and why?
We urgently need better evidence about how our experiences before birth might influence our long-term health. Most research in this area has focused on the lifestyles of pregnant mothers, but the evidence is patchy and health advice offered to pregnant women can be confusing and inconsistent. More recent research suggests that a father's behaviour can influence the health of his unborn children, but very little public health advice is currently offered to fathers-to-be. EPoCH is addressing the urgent need for better quality scientific evidence on how the health behaviours of both mums and dads in the prenatal period might affect the health of their children.

We're combining existing data on hundreds of thousands of people from several large European studies. Using this information, we're studying whether parents' smoking, drinking alcohol, drinking caffeine, eating junk food and keeping physically active are causally related to lots of different measures of health and development in children, such as weight, height, body fat, behaviour, and how well the children do at school. Where it looks like there's a causal effect, we're also trying to work out whether it's the mum's lifestyle, the dad's or the combination that's most important.

What do we want to achieve?
Our findings will be vital for producing robust, scientific evidence that can be used to develop clearer, less misleading, more effective health advice to both parents in the important prenatal period. We hope this will help maximise the health of the whole family.
Alternative titleExploring Prenatal influences on Childhood Health
Effective start/end date3/06/1930/09/22

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Population Health Science Institute
  • Physical and Mental Health


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