Lifepath project celebrates its Fourth Annual Meeting at Porto

The European research project Lifepath will open the fourth year of its activities with an international meeting in Porto, on May 17th and 18th. More than 50 researchers in social and biological sciences, campaign partners, and other key stakeholders, will discuss about the Lifepath’s results on social and health inequalities. The delegates will also evaluate current results and exchange future projects for the last year of the project. The annual meeting will take place in the Rectory of the University of Porto.

Lifepath is an EU-funded project aimed to provide updated, relevant and innovative evidence for the relationship between social inequalities and healthy ageing to lay ground for the development of future health policies and strategies. Lifepath experts developed an original study design that integrates social science approaches with biology and big data analysis, using existing population cohorts and omics measurements.

The Instituto de Saude Publica da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP) – which hosts the event – Is one of the 15 international partners that collaborate to the project, together with institutions such as the Imperial Collegue in London, the Trinity Collegue in Dublin and the university of Turin.

Some of the topics that will be covered at this year Annual Meeting are:

  • Health, social inequalities and the financial crisis in Portugal;
  • The impact of the recession and schooling policies on health;
  • The First 2,000 Days & Children’s Skills: a Randomized Experiment of Home Visiting doctors.

“It is a pleasure to celebrate the fourth Lifepath Annual Meeting in Porto,” says Paolo Vineis, professor at Imperial College London and coordinator of the project. “The main aim of our consortium is to understand the biological pathways through which social inequalities lead to health inequalities in order to provide evidence for public health institutions and policymakers. The ISPUP is an excellent partner for the project. They are doing an incredible job in the consortium, showing to the rest of the partners the efficiency and critical science thinking of its researchers in Portugal”

Lifepath scientists published several articles per year with high relevant repercussion worldwide

Lifepath researchers demonstrated last year that having poor socioeconomic conditions – such as a lower occupational position – can take away 2.1 years of life on average from a person. Low socioeconomic conditions are almost as deadly as smoking, having diabetes, or being physically inactive. Smoking is associated with the loss of 4.8 years of life; diabetes, 3.9; and physical inactivity, 2.4. High alcohol intake can take away one year of life.

The same group of researchers have also shown that men aged 60 with lower economic status loose 6.6 years of good physical function, measured by walking speed.

In March 2018, another group of Lifepath members published a study on the health impact of Opportunity NYC–Family Rewards, a conditional cash transfer programme in New York City aimed at improving population health by making cash transfers conditional on engaging in a number of activities, including school attendance, preventive health care use and employment participation for parents.

Publication date: 
Thursday, May 17, 2018