Maximizing human developmental

E-Learning Modules

For Task 11.3, the LifeCycle project has set up two e-learning modules. These modules compile the latest evidence in the topics investigated in the LifeCycle Project, including some of its research outputs. The modules are open-access, please register on the platform to gain access.


Module 1: Epidemiology: the importance of study types and confounding

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution, patterns and determinants of health and disease conditions in defined populations. Choosing the appropriate study design is essential to successfully answering your research question. In observational studies, where the exposure is not assigned randomly by a researcher, bias due to confounding is the main threat to a valid estimate of an effect. In this module, several descriptive, associational and experimental epidemiological study designs are described in detail. The concept of confounding and, in specific, of time-varying confounding, and examples in life course epidemiology are also presented.

Course content:
Unit 1: Understanding different types of applied epidemiology
Unit 2: The concept of confounding and examples in life course epidemiology


Module 2: Early Life Exposures on Later Health

Extensive research has now established that parental health and environmental factors before conception and during the first 1000 days of a child’s life (pregnancy and first  2 years of age) are of critical importance for the physical and mental health development of the offspring. These have life-long consequences for the risk of non-communicable diseases, educational achievement, health, and wellbeing. Main parental risk factors during this critical period include malnutrition (under and over-nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies), smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, environmental toxicants, and stress. The units in this module provide an overview of the latest evidence for early life risk factors associated with childhood asthma and mental health and provide recommendations for optimum nutrition and suggestions for preventive public health interventions.

Course content:
Unit 1: Preconception risk factors for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and interventions
Unit 2: Early-life exposures and childhood asthma
Unit 3: Early-life exposures and childhood mental health