European birth cohorts for environmental health research

Publié le 1 Janvier 2012
Mis à jour le 5 juillet 2019

Background: Many pregnancy and birth cohorts study the health effects of early-life environmental contaminant exposure. An overview of existing studies and their data is needed to improve collaboration, harmonization and future project planning. Objectives: To create a comprehensive overview of European birth cohorts with environmental exposure data. Methods: Birth cohorts were included if they: collected data on at least one environmental exposure; started enrolment during pregnancy or at birth; included at least one follow-up point after birth; included at least 200 mother-child pairs; and were based in a European country. A questionnaire collected information on basic protocol details and exposure and health outcome assessments, including specific contaminants, methods and samples, timing, and number of subjects. A full inventory can be searched on http://www.birthcohortsenrieco.net. Results: Questionnaires were completed by 37 cohorts in 19 European countries, studying more than 350,000 mother-child pairs; only 3 cohorts did not participate. All cohorts collected biological specimens of children or parents. Many cohorts collected information on passive smoking (n=36), maternal occupation (n=33), outdoor air pollution (n=27) and allergens/biological organisms (n=27). Fewer cohorts (n=12 to 19) collected information on water contamination, ionizing or non-ionizing radiation exposures, noise, metals, persistent organic pollutants, or other pollutants. All cohorts have information on birth outcomes, nearly all on asthma, allergies, childhood growth and obesity, and 26 collected information on child neurodevelopment. Conclusion: Combining forces in this field will yield more efficient and conclusive studies and ultimately improve causal inference. This impressive resource of existing birth cohort data could form the basis for longer-term and world-wide coordination of research on environment and child health. (R.A.)

Auteur : Vrijheid M, Casas M, Bergstrom A, Carmichael A, Cordier S, Eggesbo M, Eller E, Fantini MP, Fernandez MF, Fernandez Somoano A, Gehring U, Grazuleviciene R, Hohmann C, Karvonen AM, Keil T, Kogevinas M, Koppen G, Kramer U, Kuehni CE, Magnus P, Majewska R, Nybo Andersen AM, Patelarou E, Skaalum Petersen M, Pierik FH, Polanska K, Porta D, Richiardi L, Santos AC, Slama R, Sram RJ, Thijs C, Tischer C, Toft G, Trnovec T, Vandentorren S, Vrijkotte TG, Wilhelm M, Wright J, Nieuwenhuijsen M
Environmental health perspectives, 2012, vol. 120, n°. 1, p. 29-37