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Health Effects of in Utero Exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter

Poupakis, S; Bijward, G; Lumey, LH; Ekamper, P; Van Poppel, F; Conti, G; (2019) Health Effects of in Utero Exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter. In: Proceedings of the Cohort Studies Meeting Spring 2019. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER): Cambridge, MA, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

There is a vast literature on the health effects of in utero malnutrition, with the Dutch famine of 1944-1945 being among the most frequently studied adverse shocks. In this paper, we revisit the results of the highly influential 1970s studies of Stein et al. (1972) and Ravelli et al. (1976) who use male military recruits data to study the effects of prenatal famine exposure on mental development and obesity at age 18. Although the famine created a well-defined environment to study the effects of malnutrition, a binary indicator of exposure is mute on the mechanisms through which the famine affected these cohorts at the end of World War II. We enhance the analysis by linking the military recruits data with newly digitalised data on temperature, warfare, caloric and nutrients composition of the diet. While we find effects of in utero exposure on various health outcomes, these are concentrated on those exposed since early gestation and are driven by exposure to warfare and reduction in energy-adjusted protein intake. Moreover, we account for selection using a copula-based approach to relax the, rather restrictive, normality assumption and find evidence of both selection and scarring effects.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Health Effects of in Utero Exposure to the Dutch Hunger Winter
Event: Cohort Studies Meeting Spring 2019
Dates: 26 April 2019 - 27 April 2019
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.nber.org/conferences/cohort-studies-me...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Health, Fetal Origins Hypothesis, Famine, Prenatal Exposure
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117411
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