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Maturitas. 2014 Jan;77(1):47-51. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.09.011. Epub 2013 Sep 29.

Health in children: a conceptual framework for use in healthy ageing research.

Author information

  • 1Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: j.felix@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 2Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: trudy.voortman@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 3Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: e.vandenhooven@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 4Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: a.sajjad@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 5Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: e.leermakers@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 6Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: a.tharner@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 7Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: j.c.kiefte-dejong@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 8Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: l.duijts@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 9Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: f.verhulst@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 10Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: j.c.dejongste@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 11Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: h.tiemeier@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 12Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: a.hofman@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 13Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: f.rivadeneira@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 14Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: h.a.moll@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 15Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: h.raat@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 16Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Paediatrics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: v.jaddoe@erasmusmc.nl.
  • 17Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: o.franco@erasmusmc.nl.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

With increasing life expectancy, there is a focus on "healthy ageing". Most activities in this area focus on the elderly. However, the ageing process starts much earlier. Childhood offers an important window to lay a base for future healthy ageing. Thus, to address the full ageing process, we should include younger populations in ageing research. If we aim for healthy ageing across the life course, we need to clarify the meaning of health at different ages. The aim of this paper was to develop a conceptual framework for child health, which can be used as a starting point for healthy ageing research from a life course perspective.

RESULTS:

We conceptualize child health as: "a dynamic state, not merely the absence of disease or disability, but also adequate resilience that permits optimal physical, mental, and social functioning, and optimal quality of life in order to achieve full potential and to become an independent, functional, and social individual." We propose five core dimensions of child health: Absence of physical disease; absence of psychiatric disorders; optimal physical, mental, and social functioning, including adequate development; good quality of life or well-being; and adequate resilience.

CONCLUSION:

This conceptualization of child health and its dimensions can be seen as a first step towards building a framework for future studies into healthy ageing across the life course.

KEYWORDS:

Ageing; Child; Health

PMID:
24139819
DOI:
10.1016/j.maturitas.2013.09.011
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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