Long-Term Health Effects of Prenatal and Infancy Home Visiting: Evidence from a Randomized Trial
University College London
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Home visiting programmes are increasingly being implemented for expectant families and those with young children identified with vulnerabilities or risks for poorer outcomes, however evidence on their long-term impacts is surprisingly scarce. In this paper we study the health impacts at the 18-year follow-up of the Memphis randomized controlled trial of the Nurse Family Partnership (NFP), one of the oldest and most thoroughly evaluated nurse home visitation programs in the United States. We find lower rates of hypertension in the mothers who were visited by the nurses in pregnancy and postnatally, and lower prevalence of obesity in their adolescent children. These effects are mostly concentrated in girls and their mothers, and can be traced back since the prenatal and the birth period. Our results provide importance new evidence on the potential role of prenatal and infancy home visiting in preventing or delaying the onset of costly chronic health conditions.