Epidemiology and Health | 2021
Cohort profile: the Ewha Birth and Growth Study
With the introduction of life-course epidemiology, researchers realized the importance of identifying risk factors in early life to prevent chronic diseases. This led to the establishment of the Ewha Birth and Growth Study in 2001; the study is a prospective birth cohort designed to provide evidence of early life risk factors for a child’s growth and health. Participants were recruited from those who visited Ewha Womans University Mokdong Hospital (a tertiary hospital in southwest Seoul, Korea) for prenatal care at 24-28 weeks of gestation. In total, 891 mothers enrolled in this study between 2001 and 2006 and their offspring (n=940) were followed-up. Regular check-up examinations of offspring were conducted at 3 years, 5 years, and 7 years of age and every year thereafter. To consider age-related health issues, extensive data were collected using questionnaires and measurements. In 2021, the study subjects will reach 19 years of age, and we are planning a check-up examination for early adulthood. About 20 years have passed since the cohort data were collected, and we have published results on childhood health outcomes associated with prenatal and birth characteristics, genetic and epigenetic characteristics related to childhood metabolism, the effects of exposure to endocrine disruptors, and dietary patterns in childhood. Recently, we started reporting on topics related to adolescent health. The findings will facilitate identification of early life risk factors for chronic diseases and the development of interventions for diseases later in life.