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Determinants Health and Well-Being | Research at the EPiCSS group

People who grow up and live in disadvantaged conditions have poorer health and shorter life expectancy. This is evident throughout the world. The aim of our research is to identify social, biological, physical and behavioral determinants that contribute to these inequalities.

The specific projects utilize data from cohort studies and linkages of registry data and are conducted in collaboration with research partners in Sweden and abroad. In our research, we apply methods from social and life course epidemiology and strive to follow study populations in terms of social circumstances and health trajectories from birth to old age and across generations.

The results of our research can ultimately generate opportunities for new or more effective interventions and thus lead to better population health and reduction of social inequalities in health.

Research projects

Education and Health

Project contact: Daniel Falkstedt, Alma Sörberg Wallin

Health inequalities may originate in children’s conditions and characteristics, which impact on performance in school and educational attainment. The overall aim of the project is to contribute to an increased understanding of the associations between education and health outcomes across life. We use multiple nationally representative cohorts of men and women in Sweden born from 1948 and onwards. We are able to follow several end-point measures of health of major public health importance, e.g. cardiovascular diseases, psychiatric disorders, injuries, alcohol-related morbidity, sickness absence, and overall risk of premature death.


Do working conditions explain the increased risks of disability pension among men and women with low education? A follow-up of Swedish cohorts.
Falkstedt D, Backhans M, Lundin A, Allebeck P, Hemmingsson T
Scand J Work Environ Health 2014 Sep;40(5):483-92

Suicide attempt predicted by academic performance and childhood IQ: a cohort study of 26 000 children.
Sörberg Wallin A, Zeebari Z, Lager A, Gunnell D, Allebeck P, Falkstedt D
Acta Psychiatr Scand 2018 04;137(4):277-286

Early Life Conditions, Socioeconomic Trajectories, and Health in Later Life

Project contact: Zakir Hossin

The overarching aim of this PhD project is to examine the effects of early life social and biological conditions on social and health outcomes in adult life. Particular attention is paid to exploring whether these effects are context specific or stable over historical time or across generations.

Developmental origins of health and health inequalities

Project contact: Ilona Koupil, Menghan Gao, Zakir Hossin

In collaboration with colleagues from the Lund University, the Swedish Interdisciplinary Graduate School in register-based research and research groups participating in the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social And Medical Sciences (SIMSAM), we use register data to investigate early life determinants of health and health inequalities. Most recent research projects include studies of early life and social determinants of women’s health and the impact of social mobility on health in old age. Our international and interdisciplinary research group contributes to teaching and capacity building in the area of register based research and life course epidemiology.


Social class, social mobility and alcohol-related disorders in Swedish men and women: A study of four generations.
Sidorchuk A, Goodman A, Koupil I
PLoS ONE 2018 ;13(2):e0191855

Childhood family structure and women's adult overweight risk: A longitudinal study.
Chaparro MP, de Luna X, Häggström J, Ivarsson A, Lindgren U, Nilsson K, et al
Scand J Public Health 2017 Jul;45(5):511-519

Early life characteristics, social mobility during childhood and risk of stroke in later life: findings from a Swedish cohort.
Heshmati A, Chaparro MP, Goodman A, Koupil I
Scand J Public Health 2017 Jun;45(4):419-427

Birth characteristics and all-cause mortality: a sibling analysis using the Uppsala birth cohort multigenerational study.
Juárez S, Goodman A, De Stavola B, Koupil I
J Dev Orig Health Dis 2016 08;7(4):374-83

Maternal pelvic size, fetal growth and risk of stroke in adult offspring in a large Swedish cohort.
Heshmati A, Chaparro MP, Koupil I
J Dev Orig Health Dis 2016 Feb;7(1):108-13

From cradle to grave: tracking socioeconomic inequalities in mortality in a cohort of 11 868 men and women born in Uppsala, Sweden, 1915-1929.
Juárez SP, Goodman A, Koupil I
J Epidemiol Community Health 2016 06;70(6):569-75

Social inequality in pre-pregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain in the first and second pregnancy among women in Sweden.
Holowko N, Chaparro MP, Nilsson K, Ivarsson A, Mishra G, Koupil I, et al
J Epidemiol Community Health 2015 Dec;69(12):1154-61

Trajectories of health and ageing

Project contact: Ilona Koupil, Menghan Gao, Zakir Hossin

In close collaboration with the Stockholm University and partners in the EU-funded 'Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies' project, we aim to describe trajectories of health across the life course and identify determinants of healthy ageing. Our research is focused on early life and social determinants of morbidity and mortality in old age and includes comparative studies across historical periods. We also contribute to work on age-period-cohort analyses within the project.


Associations of birth characteristics with perimenopausal disorders: a prospective cohort study.
Gao M, Goodman A, Mishra G, Koupil I
J Dev Orig Health Dis 2019 Apr;10(2):246-252

Gender specific DOHaD and implications for women's health [Abstract].
Koupil I. J DOHaD 2017; 8(Supplement 1): S149-S150. doi:10.1017/S2040174417000848