Cohort profile: the consortium of health-orientated research in transitioning societies

Cohort profile: the consortium of health-orientated research in transitioning societies

This paper provides an overview of the consortium of health orientated research in transitioning societies. The collaboration brings together five birth cohorts for which there is available long-term data from low- and
middle-income countries. The aims of the collaboration are:
(i) to strengthen the collaboration among five of the largest and longest running birth cohort studies in low- and middle-income countries, including capacity building among young scientists, epidemiologists and statisticians in the cohort teams
(ii) to jointly produce high-quality scientific evidence on the early origins of chronic diseases and human capital by analysing the data from the five cohort studies and
(iii) to disseminate the findings of the collaboration through scientific meetings and journal articles

The main findings were :
(i) intrauterine growth retardation and stunting in the first years of life is associated with shorter adult height, lower attained schooling, reduced adult income and lower offspring birthweight
(ii) no associations between anthropometric status at 2 years of age and the risk of chronic disease, even in children with intrauterine growth retardation
(iii) children who are undernourished in early life and then gain weight rapidly after infancy are at high risk of chronic diseases

The findings suggest that the prevention of maternal and child undernutrition is a long-term investment that will benefit both the  current generation and their children

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