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National Institute for Health and Welfare

Department of Public Health Solutions
Chronic Disease Prevention Unit
P.O. Box 30
00271 Helsinki

The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) that operates under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is a research institution promoting wellbeing and health of the population, preventing diseases and social problems, and developing social and health services. THL is active in research, development, and evaluation and follow-up; it also performs official tasks and engages in extensive international cooperation. The Institute maintains close collaborations with statistical authorities across Europe and particularly with those from the other Nordic countries that have similar register policies to Finland.

The Early Life Origins of Life-Course Health research team, led by Dr Eero Kajantie, is affiliated with the Public Health Promotion Unit at THL in Helsinki and Oulu. The primary focus area of the team is on health and wellbeing of preterm born adults. The studies range from population-wide registry studies to physiological-mechanistic studies that use data from clinical birth cohorts. The team runs three birth cohort studies: the Helsinki Study of Very Low Birth Weight Adults, the Ester Preterm Birth Study in Northern Finland and Adults Born Preterm and Their Siblings study.

For registry research, the team has established the Finnish 1987-1990 Birth Cohort, which is currently being extended to later birth years. In addition to preterm birth, the team conducts research on key early life exposures (e.g. maternal gestational diabetes, hypertension during pregnancy and maternal glycyrrhizin (liquorice) intake during pregnancy) and their consequences for the long-term offspring’s health outcomes. The team is also involved in pregnancy intervention trials in low- and middle-income countries.

Eero Eero Kajantie; PI at THL;; +358 29 5247888

Markku Nurhonen; Research Assistant;