Prof. Diana Kuh – Prof. Life Course Epidemiology

Professor Diana Kuh is the Director of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at University College London (UCL) and of the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD). Under her leadership, the study has developed into an integrated and interdisciplinary life course study of ageing.

Diana is also the Principal Investigator of the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) network and co-Director of a National Institute of Health-funded programme on the Integrative Analysis of Longitudinal Studies of Ageing (IALSA); both networks bring together cohort studies to investigate lifetime influences on ageing.

Diana is internationally recognised for the creation and advancement of the field of life course epidemiology where she is the author of the acknowledged key texts. Diana uses data from the NSHD to study how biological, psychological and social factors at different stages of life, independently, cumulatively or interactively affect adult health, ageing and chronic disease risk. In a broad range of more than 300 publications she has shown the importance of childhood physical and cognitive development and lifetime socioeconomic factors, lifestyle and health experience on later adiposity, cardiovascular and reproductive function, strength and physical performance, quality of life and survival.

Diana has recently shown that growth patterns across life from birth onwards are associated with bone health in later life.  For example, NSHD participants of higher birth weight and those who gained weight and height faster than others in the pre- and post-pubertal periods had stronger bones at 60-64 years.

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