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Nurturing healthy futures: unveiling promising policy avenues to tackle root causes of poor health in early years
  1. Maria B Ospina1,
  2. Michelle Bailleux2
  1. 1 Queen's University-Kingston Campus, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Women and Children's Health Research Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Maria B Ospina, Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University, Carruthers Hall 204, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6, Canada; jmb40{at}

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Commentary on: Stewart E, Pearce A, Given J, Gilbert R, Brophy S, Cookson R, Hardelid P, Harron KL, Leyland A, Wood R, Dundas R. Identifying opportunities for upstream evaluations relevant to child and maternal health: a UK policy-mapping review. Arch Dis Child. 2023 Jul;108(7):556-562. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2022-325219. Epub 2023 Mar 31.

Implications for practice and research

  • Prioritising policies targeting social determinants of health is crucial for improving early-life health outcomes. Public involvement in policy prioritisation is vital for equitable and effective policies.

  • Investing in comprehensive evaluations using harmonised and accessible administrative data is necessary to understand long-term effects of policy effectiveness.


Reducing early-life health inequalities is a critical challenge amid the COVID-19 socioeconomic impact.1 Sociostructural policies addressing upstream determinants are important, but evidence is limited compared with individual interventions—a discrepancy known as the inverse evidence law.2 3 To contribute to overcome this gap, Stewart et …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.