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Exposures in the period from conception to early childhood - including fetal growth, cell division, and organ functioning - may have long-lasting impact on health and disease susceptibility. To investigate these issues the Danish National Birth Cohort (Better health in generations) was established. A large cohort of pregnant women with long-term follow-up of the offspring was the obvious choice because many of the exposures of interest cannot be reconstructed with suffcient validity back in time. The study needed to be large, and the aim was to recruit 100,000 women early in pregnancy, and to continue follow-up for decades. Exposure information was collected by computer-assisted telephone interviews with the women twice during pregnancy and when their children were six and 18 months old. Participants were also asked to fill in a self-administered food frequency questionnaire in mid-pregnancy. Furthermore, a biological bank has been set up with blood taken from the mother twice during pregnancy and blood from theumbilical cord taken shortly after birth.
Born in Bradford is one of the biggest and most important medical research studies undertaken in the UK. The project started in 2007 and is looking to answer questions about our health by tracking the lives of 13,500 babies and their families and will provide information for studies across the UK and around the world. The aim of Born in Bradford is to find out more about the causes of childhood illness by studying children from all cultures and backgrounds as their lives unfold.
The Twenty-07 Study was set up in 1986 in order to investigate the reasons for differences in health by socio-economic circumstances, gender, area of residence, age, ethnic group, and family type. 4510 people are being followed for 20 years. The initial wave of data collection took place in 1987/8, when respondents were aged 15, 35 and 55. The final wave of data collection took place in 2007/08 when respondents were aged 35, 55 and 75. In this way the Twenty-07 Study provides us with unique opportunities to investigate both the changes in people's lives over 20 years and how they affect their health, and the differences in people's experiences at the same ages 20 years apart, and how these have different effects on their health.
The Whitehall II study was established to explore the relationship between socio-economic status, stress and cardiovascular disease. A cohort of 10,308 participants aged 35-55, of whom 3,413 were women and 6,895 men, was recruited from the British Civil Service in 1985. Since this first wave of data collection, self-completion questionnaires and clinical data have been collected from the cohort every two to five years with a high level of participation. Data collection is intended to continue until 2030.