17 Oct 2008

Poor adult health linked to drugs, alcohol in childhood

5:04 pm on 17 October 2008

A landmark study in Dunedin links childhood drug and alcohol exposure to poor adult health.

The multidisciplinary health and development study has tracked more than 1000 people since they were born in the early 1970s.

Twenty-two people have since died, only a third remain in Dunedin and the rest are flown there periodically for physiological testing.

Those exposed to drugs and alcohol before turning 15 were up to three times more likely to experience early pregnancy, substance dependency and have a criminal record.

Participants will be brought back to Dunedin for the next assessment phase, beginning in mid-2010.