Institute of Education


The burden of reproductive histories and health status later in life in Indonesia

22 January 2020, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Pregnant woman

In this seminar, Tiziana Leone will discuss the impact of reproductive histories on women’s health later in life. The study is set in Indonesia - a country characterised by low income, high fertility, and high maternal morbidity and mortality.

Event Information

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Dingeman Wiertz


55-59 Gordon Square

Pregnancies and post-partum complications are known to create stress on bodies - at least in the short run. However, insights about the longer-run effects of fertility on health remain limited.

We know little about the impact of high fertility on women’s health later in life in low-resource settings, where stressors such as unsafe abortions, stillbirths and, low quality of obstetric and postpartum care are widespread.

Therefore, most evidence comes from countries with low fertility and high health standards. There is also a lack of studies considering pregnancies not ending in live births. 

Due to the lack of evidence, Tiziana Leone will discuss new research based on the first five waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey.

The aim is to highlight the impact of cumulative reproductive histories on health later in life. This will be against a backdrop of:

  • decades of high fertility
  • high maternal morbidity and,
  • mortality in a low-income setting.

The outcomes of interest are allostatic load and grip strength after the age of 40.

Overall, this study emphasizes the need to better understand how high fertility might affect the ageing process of women in a low-income setting.


About the Speaker

Tiziana Leone

Associate Professor in Health and International Development at London School of Economics

Tiziana's research agenda is focused on maternal and reproductive health. This includes a life-course approach to women’s health.

More about Tiziana Leone