Inequalities in child health are of major concern to policymakers, public health specialists and clinicians. This review of studies within the context of the Generation R study illustrates that inequalities in population health, at least partly, originate in pregnancy and early childhood. The review shows inequalities with regard to the health of the pregnant mother, with regard to the growth of the fetus, with regard to birth outcomes, and with regard to health indicators in early childhood. These results are shown with regard to both biological/somatic outcomes, as well as with regard to psychosocial outcomes and healthy lifestyles. Both socioeconomic inequalities and ethnic inequalities in health are present. Although some inequalities can be explained by known determinants, research needs to be done to reach a full understanding of the pathways between social disadvantage and ill health in early childhood.

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Keywords Behavioral problems, Birth weight, Breastfeeding, Ethnic background, Gestational age, Gestational diabetes, Gestational hypertension, Growth, Health, Infant temperament, Overweight, Preeclampsia, Pregnancy, Respiratory tract infection, Social disadvantage, Socio-economic status
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.08.022, hdl.handle.net/1765/33811
Citation
Raat, H, Wijtzes, A.I, Jaddoe, V.W.V-K, Moll, H.A, Hofman, A, & Mackenbach, J.P. (2011). The health impact of social disadvantage in early childhood; the Generation R study. Early Human Development, 87(11), 729–733. doi:10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2011.08.022