Professor John Lynch

Professor John Lynch
 Position Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health
 Org Unit Public Health
 Telephone +61 8 8313 6541
 Location Floor/Room WS9058.01 ,  Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background


    One of the world’s “highly cited researchers”


    In 2014 John Lynch was named by Thomson Reuters as among the “world’s highly cited researchers” placing him in the top 1% of cited scientists in his field.                


    John Lynch is an epidemiologist and Professor of Public Health in the School of Population Health at the University of Adelaide. He is also Director of the Data Management and Analysis Centre (DMAC).


    He is a Visiting Professor of Epidemiology in the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol (UK). He spent 20 years working in North America and before returning to Australia in 2008 he held professorial positions at the University of Michigan (USA) School of Public and McGill University in Canada.


    He is an internationally recognized scholar in epidemiology and public health. He has more than 250 publications and a Scopus H-Index of 61. In 2005, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research awarded him a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Population Health. In 2007 his work in public health was recognized with an honorary Doctorate in Medical Science from the University of Copenhagen. In 2009 he was awarded a NHMRC Australia Fellowship. Only thirty-nine individuals have been awarded this fellowship and according to the NHMRC, “The Australia Fellowships are Australia’s most prestigious award for excellence in the fields of health and medical research.”  He has been an editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology since 2005. He currently participates in more than 10 national and international scientific advisory boards and review groups.

  • Research Interests

    He has current research projects in the areas of:

    • Evidence for interventions to reduce inequalities in child health and development
    • Using linked data to monitor population health and interventions to reduce inequalities in child health and development
    • Cognitive and non-cognitive characteristics, child health, child development, health behaviours and trajectories of human capability formation
    • Predictive validity of routinely collected perinatal data for child development
    • Pragmatic RCTs of nurse-lead programs to support parenting
    • Internet-based parental support for infant and child development

  • Publications

    Peer Reviewed Journal Papers

    In total he has published more than 250 papers. This body of work has received more than 24,000 Google Scholar citations with an H-Index of 80.



    1.            Speybroeck N , Konings P, Harper S,  Lynch J, Berkvens D, Hosseinpoor A, Lorant V, Geckova A,. Decomposing socioeconomic health inequalities. Int J Public Health 2010; 55: 347-351.

    2.            Speybroeck N, Konings P, Lynch J, Harper S, Berkvens D, Hosseinpoor A, Lorant V,  Geckova A. Analysis of socioeconomic inequalities using the Concentration Index. Int J Public Health 2010; 55: 71-74. doi: 10.1007/s00038-009-0078-y

    3.            Maximova K, O'Loughlin J, Paradis G, Hanley J, Lynch J. Changes in anthropometric characteristics and blood pressure during adolescence. Epidemiology 2010;21:324-331.

    4.            Giles L, Moore V, Whitrow M, Sawyer M, Lynch J, Davies M. Critical period, accumulation and social mobility hypotheses: Using a regression framework to explore mothers’ partner status in early childhood and externalizing behaviours of children at 5 ½ years. Australasian Epidemiologist 2009; 16:25-29.

    5.            Yang S, Khang Y-H, Harper S, Davey Smith G, Leon D, Lynch J. Understanding the rapid increase in life expectancy in Korea. Am J Public Health 2010; 100(5):896-903.

    6.            Harper S, King NB, Meersman S,  Reichman M, Breen N, Lynch J. Implicit Value Judgments in the Measurement of Health Inequalities. Milbank Quarterly 2010; 88:4-29.

    7.            Moore S, Hall J, Harper S, Lynch J. National socio-economic disparities in obesity, overweight, and underweight status. J Obesity 2010; Article ID 514674, doi:10.1155/2010/514674.

    8.            Kauhanen L, Lynch JW, Lakka H-M, Kauhanen J, Davey Smith G. Association of diarrhoea, poor hygiene and poor social conditions in childhood with blood pressure in adulthood. J Epidemiol Community Health 2010; 64: 394-399.

    9.            D'Onise K, Lynch JW, McDermott RA. Lifelong effects of attendance at Kindergarten Union preschools in South Australia. Australian Journal of Education; 2010; 54(3), 307-324.

    10.        Loucks EB, Pilote L, Lynch JW, Hugues R, Almeida N, Benjamin E, Murabito J. Life course socioeconomic position is associated with inflammatory markers: The Framingham Offspring Study. Soc Sci Med 2010; 71: 187-195.

    11.        D’Onise K, Lynch J, McDermott R. Can attending preschool reduce the risk of tobacco smoking in adulthood? The effects of Kindergarten Union participation in South Australia. J Epidemiol Community Health 2011;65:1111-7.

    12.        Lynch J, Law C, Brinkman S, Sawyer, M. Inequalities in child healthy development: Some challenges for effective implementation. Soc Sci Med 2010; 71: 1244-1248.

    13.        McTavish S, Moore S, Harper S, Lynch J. National female literacy, individual socio-economic status, and maternal health care use in sub-Saharan Africa. Soc Sci Med 2010;11: 1958-1963

    14.        D’Onise K, Lynch J, Sawyer M, McDermott R. Systematic review of pre-school programs on child health. Soc Sci Med 2010; 70: 1423-1440.

    15.        D'Onise K, McDermott RA, Lynch JW. Does attendance at preschool affect adult health? A systematic review. Public Health. 2010;124(9):500-11



    17.        Loucks E, Abrahamowicz M, Xiao Y, Lynch JW. Associations of education with 30 year life course blood pressure trajectories: Framingham Offspring Study. BMC Public Health 2011;11:139

    18.        Brinkman S, McDermott R, Lynch JW. Better understanding trajectories of child development: Opportunities for data linkage in SA. SA Public Health Bulletin 2011;7:7-10.

    19.        Sawyer M, Borojevic N, Lynch JW. The challenges of providing effective support for young children and their families: Examples from the Family Home Visiting Program in South Australia and the Family Nurse Partnership in the UK. SA Public Health Bulletin 2011; 7:44-47

    20.          Macasa G, Hallqvist J, Lynch J. Child health inequalities in sub-Saharan Africa: Can social epidemiology help to understand the determinants? African Journal Health Sci 2011;18:14-26.

    21.        Setia M, Quesnel-Vallee A, Abrahamowicz M, Tousignant P, Lynch JW. Determinants of changes in immigrant mental and self-rated health in Canada. J Immigrant Minority Health. 2011; 1: 156-165.

    22.        Smith B, Lynch JW, Fox S, Harper SB, Abrahamowicz M, Almeida N, Loucks EB. Life Course socioeconomic position and Type 2 diabetes: The Framingham Offspring Study.  Am J Epidemiol 2011; 173: 438-447.

    23.        Sawyer M, Borojevic N, Lynch JW. Evaluating population-level interventions for young people’s mental health: Challenges and opportunities. Early Intervention in Psychiatry 2011;5: 46-51.

    24.        Harper SB, Lynch JW, Davey Smith G. Social determinants and the decline of cardiovascular diseases: Understanding the links. Annu Rev Public Health 2011; 32:39-69

    25.        Chittleborough C, Lawlor DA, Lynch JW. Young maternal age and poor child development outcomes by age 5: findings on predictive validity from a longitudinal birth cohort. Pediatrics 2011; 127: e1436-e1444.

    26.        Banham D, Woollacott T, Lynch JW. Healthy life gains in South Australia:
    Their nature and distribution. Population Health Metrics 2011; 9:13 (16 May 2011).

    27.        Khang Y-H, Lynch JW. Exploring determinants of secular decreases in childhood blood pressure and hypertension. Circulation 2011; 124:397-405.

    28.        Campbell S, Lynch J, Esterman A, McDermott R. Pre-pregnancy predictors linked to miscarriage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in North Queensland. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2011;35(4):343-351.

    29.        Larose A, Moore S, Harper S, Lynch J. Global inequality in HIV testing. J Public Health 2011; 33: 345-352.

    30.        Sawyer M, Harchak T, Wake M, Lynch JW. Changes in body mass index and mental health in 8-9 year olds. Pediatrics 2011; 128:4 677-684.

    31.        D'Onise K, Lynch JW, Esterman A, McDermott RA. The beneficial effects of preschool attendance on adult cardiovascular disease risk. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 2011 35(3):278-83.

    32.        Kauhanen L, Leino J, Lakka H-M, Lynch JW, Kauhanen J. Adverse childhood experiences and risk of binge drinking and drunkenness in middle-aged Finnish men. Adv Prev Med 2011; doi:10.4061/2011/478741.

    33.        Leino J, Kauhanen L, Hokkinen L, Kurl S, Toriola A, Voutilianed S, Lynch J, Kauhanen J. Psychosocial problems in childhood and later alcohol consumption: A lifecourse approach with historical information. Scand J Public Health 2011;39: 749-756.

    34.        Giles LC, Davies MJ, Whitrow MJ, Rumbold AR, Lynch JW, Sawyer MG, Moore VM. Structured regression analyses of life course processes: An example exploring how maternal depression in early childhood affects children's subsequent internalizing behavior. Ann Epidemiol 2011 ;21: 654-659

    35.        Kauhanen L, Leino J, Lakka H-M, Lynch JW, Kauhanen J. Emotional and behavioural problems in childhood and risk of overall and cause-specific morbidity and mortality in middle-aged Finnish men.  Longitudinal and Life course Studies. 2011; 2: 228-239

    36.        Agha G, Murabito JM,  Lynch JW, Abrahamowicz M, Harper SB, Loucks EB. Cumulative life course socioeconomic position and ankle-brachial index. Am J Cardiol 2011;108: 1651-1657.

    37.        Benzon Larsen S, Oksberg Dalton S, Tjonneland A, Christensen J, Lynch JW. Johansen C. Socioeconomic position and lifestyle in relation to breast cancer incidence among postmenopausal women: A prospective cohort study, Denmark, 1993-2006. Cancer Epidemiol 2011;35: 438-441.

    38.        Banham D, Lynch J, Karnon J. An equity-effectiveness framework linking health programmes and healthy life expectancy. Aust J Primary Health 2011; 17(4):309-319.

    39.        Smithers LG, Golley RK, Brazionis L, Lynch JW. Methods for characterizing the diets of children under five and their association with nutrition and health outcomes:  A systematic review. Nutrition Rev 2011; 69: 449-467.


    40.        Chittleborough C, Lawlor DA, Lynch JW. Perinatal prediction of poor maternal and offspring outcomes: implications for selection into intensive parent support programs. Maternal and Child Health 2012;16(4):909-20.

    41.        Galobardes B, McCormack  VA, McCarron P, Howe L, Lynch J, Lawlor DA, Davey Smith G. Social inequalities in height: persisting differences today depend upon height of the parents. PLoS ONE 2012;7:e2918.

    42.        Golley RK, Smithers LG, Smithers LG, Golley RK, Mittinty M, Brazionis L, Emmett P, Northstone K, Campbell K, McNaughton SA, Lynch JW. An index measuring adherence to complementary feeding guidelines has convergent validity as a measure of infant diet quality. J Nutrition 2012; 142:901-908.

    43.        Campbell S, Lynch J, Esterman A, McDermott R. Pre-pregnancy predictors of diabetes in pregnancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in North Queensland, Australia. Maternal and Child Health Journal 2012;16:1284–1292.

    44.        Smithers LG, Golley RK, Mittinty M, Brazionis L, Northstone K, Emmett P, Lynch JW. Dietary patterns at 6, 15 and 24 months of age are associated with IQ at 8 years of age. Euro J Epidemiol 2012;27:525-535.

    45.        Yang S, Khang Y-H, Chun H, Harper S, Lynch J. The changing gender differences in life expectancy in Korea 1970-2005. Soc Sci Med 2012;75:1280-1287.

    46.        Brazionis L, Golley RK, Mittinty MN, Smithers LG, Emmett P, Northstone K, Lynch, JW. Characterization of transition diets spanning infancy and toddlerhood: a novel, multiple-time-point application of principal components analysis. Am J Clin Nutrition 2012; 95:1200-1208.

    47.        Hosseinpoor AR, Harper S, Lee JH, Lynch JW, Mathers C, Abou-Zahr C. International shortfall inequality in life expectancy in women and in men, 1950-2010. Bulletin WHO 2012;90:588-594.

    48.        Sawyer MG, Borojevic N, Ettridge KA, Spence SH, Sheffield J, Lynch J. Do help-seeking intentions during adolescence vary for adolescents experiencing different levels of depressive symptoms. J Adolesc Health 2012; 50: 236-242  

    49.        Smithers LG, Golley RK, Mittinty M, Brazionis L, Northstone K, Emmett P, Lynch JW. Dietary patterns of infants and toddlers are associated with nutrient intakes. Nutrients 2012;4:935-948.

    50.        D'Onise K, Lynch JW, Esterman A, McDermott RA. Does an early childhood intervention affect cardiometabolic risk in adulthood?: Evidence from a longitudinal study of preschool attendance in South Australia. Public Health 2012;126:682-689.

    51.        Peters J, Sinn N, Campbell K, Lynch JW. Parental influences on the diets of 2-5 year old children: Systematic review of interventions. Early Child Development and Care 2012; 182(7): 837-857.

    52.        Brinkman SA, Gialamas A, Rahman A, Mittinty MN, Gregory T, Silburn S, Goldfeld S, Zubrick SR, Carr V, Janus M, Hertzman C, Lynch JW. Jurisdictional, socioeconomic and gender inequalities in child health and development: Analysis of a national census of 5 year olds in Australia. BMJ Open 2012;2:e001075.

    53.        Guthridge S, Ryan P, Condon J, Bromfield L, Moss J, Lynch J. Trends in child abuse and neglect among Northern Territory children, 1999 to 2010. MJA 2012;197:637-641.


    54.        Smithers LG, Golley RK, Mittinty M, Brazionis L, Northstone K, Emmett P, Lynch JW. Do diet trajectories between infancy and toddlerhood influence IQ in childhood and adolescence?: results from a prospective birth cohort study. PloS One 2013:8; e58904

    55.        Di Cesare M, Khang Y-K, Asaria P, Blakely T, Cowan M, Farzadfar F, Carvajal RG, Ikeda N, Kyobutungi C, Msyamboza K, Oum S, Lynch J, Marmot M, Ezzati M.  Inequalities in non-communicable diseases. Lancet 2013; 381:585-597.

    56.        Marchman Andersen M, Holtung N, Okberg Dalton S, Lynch JW, Johanssen C. Social inequality in health, responsibility and egalitarian justice. J Public Health 2013;35:4-8.

    57.        Raj D, Zitko P, Jones K, Lynch J, Aray R. A multilevel cross-national comparison of contextual and individual-level socioeconomic determinants of depression. Br J Psychiatry 2013;202:195-203.

    58.        Sawyer MG, Frost L, Bowering K, Lynch JW. Evaluation of the South Australian Nurse Home-Visiting Program. BMJ Open 2013;3:4 e002720 doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-002720.

    59.        Brazionis L, Golley RK, Mittinty MN, Smithers LG, Emmett P, Northstone K, Lynch J. Diet spanning infancy and toddlerhood is associated with child blood pressure at age 7.5 y. Am J Clin Nutrition 2013;97:1375-86.

    60.        Smithers L, Lynch J, Yang S, Dahhou M, Kramer M. Impact of neonatal growth on IQ and behavior at early school age. Pediatrics 2013;132:e53-60.

    61.        Sawyer MG, Barnes J, Frost L, Jeffs D, Bowering K, Lynch JW. Nurse perceptions of Home-Visiting Programs in Australia and England. J Paediatrics Child Health 2013 49:369-374.

    62.        Smithers L, Merlin T, Lynch J. TV advertising to children in Australia. MJA 2013; 199: 148-149.

    63.        Beckman K, Farshid G, Roder D, Hiller J, Lynch J. Impact of hormone replacement therapy use on mammographic screening outcomes. Cancer Causes and Control 2013; 24:1417-1426.

    64.        Campbell S, Lynch J, Esterman A, McDermott R. Pre-pregnancy predictors of hypertension in pregnancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in North Queensland, Australia. BMC Public Health 2013, 13:138. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-138

    65.        Hoon E, Rahman A, Pham C, Gill T, Whitford D, Lynch J, Beilby J. Profiling bone and joint problems and health service use in an Australian regional population: The Port Lincoln Health Study. Aust Health Review 2013 37(4):504-12.

    66.        Mittinty M, Golley R, Smithers L, Brazionis L, Lynch J. A preference based measure of complementary feeding quality with an application to the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. PLoS One 2013; 8(10): e76111. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076111.

    67.        Peters J, Parletta N, Campbell K, Lynch J. Parental influences on the diets of 2- to 5-year-old children: Systematic review of qualitative research. J Early Childhood Research.  2013; doi:10.1177/1476718X13492940

    68.        Golley RK, Smithers LG, Mittinty MN, Emmett P, Northstone K, Lynch JW. Diet quality of UK infants is associated with dietary, adiposity, cardiovascular, and cognitive outcomes measured at 7-8 y of age. Journal Nutrition. 2013; 10.3945/​jn.112.170605.

    69.        Smithers L, Merlin T, Lynch J. Industry self-regulation and TV advertising of foods to Australian children. J Paed Child Health 2013; doi:10.1111/jpc.12488


    70.        Manuel DG, Thi H, Harper S, Anderson GM, Lynch JW, Rosella L. Modelling preventive effectiveness estimates to estimate the equity tipping point: at what coverage can individual preventive interventions reduce socioeconomic disparities in diabetes risk? Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada 2014;34:94-102.

    71.        Peters J, Parletta N, Campbell K, Lynch J. A comparison of parental views of their pre-school children's 'healthy' versus 'unhealthy' diets: A qualitative study. Appetite 2014;12:3 - 19

    72.        Brinkman S, Gregory T, Goldfeld S, Hardy M, Lynch J. Data Resource Profile: The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI). Int J Epidemiol 2014; doi: 10.1093/ije/dyu085

    73.        Gialamas A, Mittinty M, Sawyer M, Zubrick S, Lynch J. Child care quality and children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development: an Australian longitudinal study. Early Child Devel Care 2014.  DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2013.847835

    74.        Watson M, D’Onise K, Lynch J, Brotherton J. What are the barriers to better three-dose coverage with HPV vaccination in school based programs? ANZJPH 2014; DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12149.

    75.        Smithers L, Chittleborough C, Sawyer M, Stocks N, Lynch J. Can items used in 4-year old well-child visits predict children’s health and school outcomes? Maternal Child Health J 2014; 18:1345–1353. DOI:10.1007/s10995-013-1369-8.

    76.        Hosseinpoor A, Bergen N, Boerma T, Koller T, Prasad A, Schlotheuber A, Valentine N, Lynch J, Vega J. Equity-Oriented Monitoring in the Context of Universal Health Coverage. PLoS Med 2014; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001727.

    77.        Sawyer A, Lynch JW, Bowering K, Jeffs D, Clark J, Mpundu-Kaambwa C, Sawyer MG.  An equivalence evaluation of a nurse-moderated group-based internet support program for new mothers versus standard care: A pragmatic preference randomised controlled trial. BMC Pediatrics 2014; 14:119.

    78.        Smithers LG, Scheil W, Brinkman S, Lynch J. Anaemia of pregnancy, perinatal outcomes and children’s developmental vulnerability: a whole-of-population study. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiol 2014;28:381–390.

    79.        Gialamas A, Mittinty M, Sawyer M, Zubrick S. Lynch JW.  Time spent in different types of childcare and children's development at school entry: an Australian longitudinal study. Arch Dis Child 2014 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-306626

    80.        Harper S, Strumpf E, Burris S, Davey Smith G, Lynch J. The effect of mandatory seat belt laws on seat belt use by socioeconomic position. J Policy Analysis and Management (in press)

    81.       Sawyer M, Pfeiffer S, Sawyer A, Bowering K, Jeffs D, Lynch J. Effectiveness of nurse home-visiting for families in rural South Australia. J Paediatrics and Child Health 2014;50:1013–1022.

    82.        Guthridge S, Ryan P, Condon J, Bromfield L, Moss J, Lynch J. Trends in hospital admissions for conditions associated with child maltreatment, Northern Territory 1999 to 2010. MJA 2014;201:162-166.

    83.        Chittleborough C, Mittinty M, Lawlor D, Lynch JW. Effects of interventions to improve school entry academic skills on socioeconomic inequalities in educational achievement. Child Development 2014; 85: 2247–2262. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12309.

    84.        Miller-Lewis R, Sawyer A, Searle K, Mittinty M, Sawyer M, Lynch JW. Student-teacher relationship trajectories and mental health problems in young children. BMC Psychology 2014;  2:27 DOI: 10.1186/s40359-014-0027-2.

    85.        Beckmann K, Lynch JW, Hiller J, Farshid G, Houssami N, Duffy SW, Roder DM. A novel case-control design to estimate the extent of over-diagnosis of breast cancer due to organised population-based mammography screening. Int J Cancer 2014 (in press)

    86.        Sawyer A, Chittleborough C, Mittinty M, Miller-Lewis L, Sawyer M, Sullivan T, Lynch JW. Are trajectories of self-regulation abilities from ages 2-3 to 6-7 associated with academic achievement in the early school years? Child: Care, Health, & Development 2014 (in press).

    87.        Laws R, Campbell K, van de Pligt P, Russell G, Ball K, Lynch J, Crawford D, Taylor R, Askew D, Denney-Wilson E. The impact of interventions to prevent obesity or improve obesity related behaviours in children (0-5 years) from socioeconomically disadvantaged and/or indigenous families: A systematic review. BMC Public Health 2014,14:779. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-779.


    Translational Research Briefs

    88.        Sawyer A, Gialamas A, Pearce A, Sawyer M, Lynch J. Five by Five. Research Series No 1. University of Adelaide, September 2014.

    89.        Pilkington R, Chittleborough C, Smithers L, Lynch J. The SA ECHD Data Linkage Project. Research Series No 2. University of Adelaide, September 2014.

    90.        Chittleborough C, Searle A, Smithers L, Lynch J. Can linked data improve risk prediction for targeting parent support programs? Research Series No 3. University of Adelaide, September 2014.



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Entry last updated: Thursday, 9 Aug 2018

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