A life course approach to the prevention of ill health

24 October, 2019

Public Health England has produced a resource for healthcare professionals to promote the prevention of ill health by using interventions and tools to improve people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, known as the ‘life course approach.’

This approach recognises that people have different attributes and needs in the various stages of their life from birth on-wards. Various protective and risk factors make up the determinants of health and social inequalities, which can lead to shorter life expectancy and more years living with disability.

Unlike a disease-orientated approach which focuses on a specific condition at a single life stage, a life course approach considers the critical stages, transitions and settings where large differences can be made in promoting or restoring health and wellbeing. Examples of this approach include vaccination programmes, eating a healthy diet, being physically active and reducing smoking and alcohol consumption.

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