Children of the 90s cohort celebrates 30th birthday

One of the largest, most detailed longitudinal birth cohorts in the world recently celebrated its 30th birthday! The data from the Children of the 90s health study, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), has been used in over 2,200 health studies around the world and is also one of the cohorts being studied in LongITools.

Thirty years ago Bristol University researchers recruited over 14,500 pregnant women and began collecting data on them and their babies. It has been following the health and development of the parents and their children in detail ever since and is currently recruiting the children of the original children into the study. The study has a huge catalogue of data and biosamples and continues to be used to collect new material. More than 1.5 million biological samples along with thousands of questionnaires, are overseen by Principal Investigator Professor Nic Timpson and his team.

On the cohort’s 30th birthday, Professor Nic Timpson said:

“From the very beginning, the Children of the 90s health study has challenged convention by collecting all the health data it could. In doing so, it demonstrated the value of detailed, repeated health data collection across generations over time.

Today the study is recognised globally both for the value of its health data and the commitment of its participants. Using our data, scientists are helping treat and prevent ill health around the world.

In LongITools, we will use the Children of the 90s data to explore the relationship between environmental exposures – like air quality, space and noise – and health outcomes that relate to our heart, blood vessels and metabolism. We will be looking through time at trends and changes and it is only in studies like Children of the 90s that we can do this, helping to make changes we hope one day will improve our health and wellbeing.”

Recently BBC Breakfast spoke to families involved from the beginning of the study. View here.

To celebrate its 30th birthday, the team will launch its biggest collection of health data yet. The original Children of the 90s babies (who are now turning 30) will be the focus of the new study, launching in September 2021.  They will be invited to take part alongside their partners, children and parents and will bring together all three generations of the study for the first time.

To find out more visit the ALSPAC website.