UK researchers found that mental prowess during childhood predicted longevity among more than 2,200 older adults who took IQ tests as 11-year-olds in 1932. The relationship between childhood IQ and death risk remained after they "social factors" had been considered. such as father's occupation and overcrowding in the childhood home - signs of "social disadvantage." This is part of a growing body of research suggests that adult health is influenced by the earliest stages of life. Low birth weight, for instance, has been linked in some studies to increased risk of high blood pressure, kidney disease and heart disease in adulthood. Many factors - from genetics to lifestyle habits - may explain the association between childhood IQ and death risk. An 11-year-old's IQ may reflect prenatal development, childhood nutrition and other early factors. And a child with a higher IQ may be more likely to take up exercise and healthful eating habits, and shun smoking, drinking and other health risks.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 suggests that basic health care services for children should be strengthened, in the context of primary health care delivery including prenatal care, breast-feeding, immunization and nutrition programmes.