The Long-Lasting #Influenza: The #Impact of #Fetal #Stress During the 1918 Influenza #Pandemic on #Socioeconomic Attainment and Health in #Sweden, 1968-2012 (Demography, abstract)

[Source: US National Library of Medicine, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Demography. 2019 Jul 19. doi: 10.1007/s13524-019-00799-x. [Epub ahead of print]

The Long-Lasting Influenza: The Impact of Fetal Stress During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on Socioeconomic Attainment and Health in Sweden, 1968-2012.

Helgertz J1,2, Bengtsson T3,4,5.

Author information: 1 Centre for Economic Demography (CED) and Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, 220 07, Lund, Sweden. 2 Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, 50 Willey Hall, 225 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA. 3 Centre for Economic Demography (CED) and Department of Economic History, Lund University, Box 7083, 220 07, Lund, Sweden. 4 IZA, Institute of Labor Economics, Schaumburg-Lippe-Strasse 5-9, 53113, Bonn, Germany. 5 CEPR, Centre for Economic Policy Research, 33 Great Sutton Street, London, EC1V 0DX, UK.



The 1918 influenza pandemic had not only a massive instant death toll but also lasting effects on its survivors. Several studies have shown that children born in 1919, and thus exposed to the H1N1 virus in utero, experienced worse health and socioeconomic outcomes in older ages than surrounding birth cohorts. This study combines several sources of contemporary statistics with full-population individual-level data for Sweden during 1968-2012 to examine the influence of fetal exposure to the Spanish flu on health, adulthood income, and occupational attainment. For both men and women, fetal exposure resulted in higher morbidity in ages 54-87, as measured by hospitalization. For males, exposure during the second trimester also affected mortality in cancer and heart disease. Overall, the effects on all-cause mortality were modest, with about three months shorter remaining life expectancy for the cohorts exposed during the second trimester. For socioeconomic outcomes, results fail to provide consistent evidence supporting any long-term consequences of fetal exposure. We conclude that although the immediate health effects of exposure to the 1918 pandemic were huge, the long-term effects were modest in size.

KEYWORDS: Fetal origins; Health and socioeconomic outcomes; Longitudinal data; Spanish influenza pandemic; Sweden

PMID: 31325150 DOI: 10.1007/s13524-019-00799-x

Keywords: Pandemic Influenza; Spanish Flu; Sweden; Society.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.