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10 June 2022 The continuing evolution of birth cohort studies: achievements and challenges
Yuan Lin, Yangqian Jiang, Jiangbo Du, Hongxia Ma, Hongbing Shen, Zhibin Hu
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Abstract

Well-designed birth cohorts are able to estimate prevalence/distribution of various health events/outcomes, and to link early-life origins with adult health and function. The past two decades have seen a surge in the establishment of new birth cohorts and their accompanying research. We discussed distinct designs of current birth cohort studies, reviewed their achievements, and highlighted insights obtained from birth cohort studies, as well as challenges we are facing. Birth cohort studies are providing increasing opportunities to identify determining factors for short- and long-term health, yielding substantial evidence to uncover biological mechanisms of diseases and phenotypes, and providing further insights for public health. Dynamic monitoring, accurate measurements, long-term follow-ups, and collaborative efforts are warranted in new birth cohorts to elucidate the nature of life course relationships in contemporary generation.

Summary Sentence

This review provided a summary on progress of birth cohort studies, and highlighted future challenges and perspectives.

© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
Yuan Lin, Yangqian Jiang, Jiangbo Du, Hongxia Ma, Hongbing Shen, and Zhibin Hu "The continuing evolution of birth cohort studies: achievements and challenges," Biology of Reproduction 107(1), 358-367, (10 June 2022). https://doi.org/10.1093/biolre/ioac117
Received: 30 December 2021; Accepted: 9 June 2022; Published: 10 June 2022
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KEYWORDS
adult health
birth cohort
developmental origins hypotheses
growth trajectories
life course approach
long-term follow-up
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