We report evidence of long-term adverse health impacts of fetal malnutrition exposure of middle-aged survivors of the 1959-1961 China Famine using data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study. We find that fetal exposure to malnutrition has large and long-lasting impacts on both physical health and cognitive abilities, including the risks of suffering a stroke, physical disabilities in speech, walking and vision, and measures of mental acuity even half a century after the tragic event. Our findings imply that policies and programs that improve the nutritional status of pregnant women yield benefits on the health of a fetus that extend through the life cycle in the form of reduced physical and mental impairment.
China Famine, Fetal origin hypothesis, Health, Malnutrition
Health Economics (United Kingdom)
KIM, Seonghoon; FLEISHER, Belton; and SUN, Jessica Ya.
The Long-term health effects of fetal malnutrition: Evidence from the 1959-1961 China great leap forward famine. (2016). Health Economics (United Kingdom). Research Collection School Of Economics.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soe_research/1934
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