Proposal summaries

These are research proposals that have been approved by the ALSPAC exec. The titles include a B number which identifies the proposal and the date on which the proposals received ALSPAC exec approval.

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b1234 - TEST PROJECT PLEASE IGNORE

B number: 
b1234
Principal applicant name: 
TEST USER PLEASE IGNORE2 |
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
TEST PROJECT PLEASE IGNORE
Proposal summary: 
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 7 July, 2015
Keywords: 

B3078 - Single SNP Replication of rs71564871 - 08/03/2018

B number: 
B3078
Principal applicant name: 
Kaitlin Wade | Integrative Epidemiology Unit (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Single SNP Replication of rs71564871
Proposal summary: 

A single mutation within the genome (called rs71564871 near a gene called BEND6) has been previously linked to fat distribution in the body, specifically the proportion of fat stored across the waist compared to the hips, in women of the ORCADES study and UK Biobank. Within this study, we want to assess whether this single mutation is similarly related to the same pattern of fat deposition in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

Impact of research: 
Identifying the genetic contribution of fat distribution to further use in causal analyses to understand how specific regional fat deposition is related to adverse health outcomes.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Obesity, GWAS, BMI, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Statistical methods

B3088 - Metabolic profile of prediabetes using genetic susceptibility and repeat metabolomics to inform early detection - 29/03/2018

B number: 
B3088
Principal applicant name: 
Joshua Bell | IEU
Co-applicants: 
Dr Emma Vincent, Dr Caroline Bull, Prof Nicholas Timpson, Dr Marc Gunter
Title of project: 
Metabolic profile of prediabetes: using genetic susceptibility and repeat metabolomics to inform early detection
Proposal summary: 

Type 2 diabetes develops for many years before it is diagnosed. Using data from ALSPAC offspring, we aim in this study to harness genetic susceptibility to adult type 2 diabetes and detailed metabolic profiling to better understand the early stages of diabetes development that are detectable in blood. This will involve describing associations of a genetic risk score comprised of hundreds of genetic variants for adult type 2 diabetes with hundreds of metabolic traits from targeted metabolomics at four key stages of early life – childhood (age 8y), adolescence (age 15y), early adulthood (age 18y), and formal adulthood (age 25y) – to view subtle changes in metabolism over time which precede the onset of clinical diabetes. Recognizing the early signs of diabetes is vital for early detection and for preventing downstream cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

Impact of research: 
The likely output of this research will be at least one publication in a general medical or epidemiology journal, the impact of which may be theoretical advancement in active research fields of metabolism and diabetes, and recommendations for clinical practice.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 22 March, 2018
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Diabetes, Metabolomics, Metabolic - metabolism

B3122 - Genome-wide analysis of selection and methylation - 06/06/2018

B number: 
B3122
Principal applicant name: 
Tom Gaunt | University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Ms Charlie Hatcher, Dr Santi Rodgriguez
Title of project: 
Genome-wide analysis of selection and methylation.
Proposal summary: 

Human evolution has been associated with drastic changes in environment and lifestyle over time, with each of these changes resulting in selective pressures (Voight et al., 2006). Natural selection is the differential reproductive success of genetically distinct individuals or genotypes within a population. Strongly deleterious mutations will rapidly be eliminated from populations, whereas strongly positive mutations will quickly rise to fixation leading to changes in allele frequency over time. This process leaves signatures on the genome which can then be detected (Sabeti et al., 2006).

Epigenetics refers to heritable changes outside of the DNA sequence itself and provides a potential mechanism by which environmental and lifestyle exposures can impact gene expression over the course of a lifetime. Epigenetic mechanisms can include DNA methylation and histone modifications. DNA methylation is the most widely studied epigenetic change and involves the addition of methyl groups to nucleotide bases (Vocht et al., 2018).

Natural selection is a long term, multigenerational response to environmental factors that can influence the role of genes in human traits (Bamshed and Wooding, 2003) whereas epigenetic inheritance allows stable changes in DNA methylation to be passed from one generation to the next (Feil and Fraga, 2012). Both selection and methylation act in response to environmental exposures but over different timescales. This project will aim to unravel the interplay between selection and methylation to assess whether DNA methylation offers a mechanism to respond to exposures in the short term which may eventually lead to changes in allele frequency.

References
1. Bamshad, M. & Wooding, S.P. Signatures of natural selection in the human genome. Nature Reviews Genetics 4, 99-111A (2003).
2. de Vocht, F. et al. DNA methylation from birth to late adolescence and development of multiple-risk behaviours. Journal of Affective Disorders227, 588-594 (2018).
3. Feil, R. & Fraga, M.F. Epigenetics and the environment: emerging patterns and implications. Nature Reviews Genetics 13, 97-109 (2012).
4. Sabeti, P.C. et al. Positive natural selection in the human lineage. Science 312, 1614-1620 (2006).
5. Stearns, S.C., Byars, S.G., Govindaraju, D.R. & Ewbank, D. Measuring selection in contemporary human populations (vol 11, pg 611, 2010). Nature Reviews Genetics 12, 1 (2011).
6. Voight, B.F., Kudaravalli, S., Wen, X.Q. & Pritchard, J.K. A map of recent positive selection in the human genome (vol 4, pg 154, 2006). Plos Biology 4, 659-659 (2006).

Impact of research: 
Generally, selection and methylation are assessed separately. We hope that analysing both concurrently will provide insight into the relationship between these two mechanisms and help us to better understand the impact of environmental exposures genome-wide.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 29 May, 2018
Keywords: 
Genetics, Gene mapping, Statistical methods, Epigenetics, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Genomics, Statistical methods

B3554 - Asthma and COVID-19 - 08/06/2020

B number: 
B3554
Principal applicant name: 
Raquel Granell | MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit (IEU) Population Health Sciences (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr James Dodd
Title of project: 
Asthma and COVID-19
Proposal summary: 

Asthma affects the lives of 5.4 million people across the UK. COVID-19 attacks the lungs and can trigger asthma symptoms like wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing, which is very distressing for patients and can cause feelings of anxiety. We want to know if participants with asthma at 23-24 years were more likely to report respiratory symptoms, mental health issues, shielding during the COVID-19 lock-down.

We'll also be interested to explore differences between people with asthma and COVID-19 related symptoms and people with asthma and non-related COVID-19 symptoms, e.g. economical status, asthma severity....

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 5 June, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology

B3087 - INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE PERPETRATORS THE ORIGINS - 29/03/2018

B number: 
B3087
Principal applicant name: 
Miguel Perez Garcia | University of Granada (Spain)
Co-applicants: 
Inmaculada Teva, Dr, Natalia Hidalgo Ruzzante
Title of project: 
INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE PERPETRATORS: THE ORIGINS
Proposal summary: 

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is defined as any violent behavior within an intimate relationship or any other controlling behavior that is conducted by a current or former partner. It is the most common form of violence in women which constitutes a major public health problem worldwide. The current explanatory theories of IPV perpetration can be summarized as feminist/sociocultural, social learning theory-based intergenerational transmission and psychological/psychosocial. According to the feminist/sociocultural theory, domestic violence is a consequence of “patriarchy”. From this view, violence is used as a form of power and control of women by men. The intergenerational transmission theory asserts that domestic violence is based on the exposure to, or observation of, violence in the family of origin. Psychological theories propose that there are psychological, psychiatric, behavioural and neurological risk factors for domestic violence perpetration. In the study of IPV perpetration, it is important to consider the variables addressed by such theories as a whole and from a developmental perspective and there is no study that simultaneously considers all the variables of these explanatory theories. The general aim of our study is to identify those etiological mechanisms linking risk factors for IPV perpetration across development. This study will be the first one that sheds light on which the origins of IPV perpetration are by knowing how IPV perpetration develops. Implications in terms of prevention and treatment will be of a great relevance for public health.

Impact of research: 
Considering the high prevalence and negative consequences of IPV, its prevention is of great importance to public health. Moreover, there is a scarcity of studies that address IPV perpetration from a prospective approach and using large samples. In this line, it is the first study that simultaneously considers all the variables of the current explanatory theories of IPV perpetration (e.g., feminist/sociocultural, social learning theory-based intergenerational transmission and psychological/psychosocial) from a prospective perspective. The further investigation of the current explanatory theories of IPV perpetration using a fully prospective design would benefit in the comprehension of IPV perpetration. Regarding the public health significance of the present research, we expect to identify which variables differentiate IPV perpetrators from those who do not show IPV perpetration. Such investigation will be useful in the treatment and prevention of IPV since we will determine for the first time, the etiological mechanisms involved in IPV perpetration.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 21 March, 2018
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Statistical methods, Psychology - personality

B3106 - Does the effect of eating patterns at night on childhood weight status differ between the UK and China - 08/05/2018

B number: 
B3106
Principal applicant name: 
Kate Northstone | UoB (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Sam Leary, Dr Laura Johnson, Zou Mengxuan
Title of project: 
Does the effect of eating patterns at night on childhood weight status differ between the UK and China?
Proposal summary: 

It has been suggested that night eating is related to increased fat storage and therefore increased body weight. There is also no clear definition of what is meant by night eating. The potential effects of night eating on obesity have primarily been examined in adults to date and any studies in childhood have been cross-sectional, with none in the UK. Based on information collected in diet diaries at the age of 7, this project will aim to examine different definitions of night eating and examine the effects on childhood weight status and it's change over time. This will be carried in two different cohort studies - one based in the UK and one based in China.

Impact of research: 
Potential public health advice for children around eating habits in order to help with the current obesity epidemic
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 1 May, 2018
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Obesity, Statistical methods, Nutrition - breast feeding, diet

B3124 - Using the power of DPUK cohorts to explore childhood adversity and adult behavioural psychological physical cognitive and b - 06/06/2018

B number: 
B3124
Principal applicant name: 
Sarah Bauermeister | University of Oxford (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Kate Northstone, Dr Catherine Calvin, Ms Roise Cornish
Title of project: 
Using the power of DPUK cohorts to explore childhood adversity and adult behavioural, psychological, physical, cognitive, and, b
Proposal summary: 

Childhood adversity could cover many things including extreme difficulties and adverse experiences during childhood such as sexual, physical and emotional abuse, deprivation, and family dysfunction. Experiencing adversity during childhood may have a dramatic effect on a child's life. It has been linked to a number of poor outcomes in adulthood such as worse health outcomes, poor mental health, reduced life satisfaction and dementia. One in three adults diagnosed with mental health conditions are reported to have experienced childhood adversities therefore, there is the potential for life-long associations between childhood adversity and health, which need to be evaluated and accounted for. The proposed project will examine childhood adversity in three different UK populations and in a birth cohort and associations with a number of different outcomes including physica and mental health, poor lifestyle choice such as unhealthy diet, smoking and binge drinking and antisocial behaviours.

Impact of research: 
One-in-three adult mental and physical health conditions are attributed directly to adverse childhood experiences and trauma. Furthermore, adversity in younger life may lead to adverse adult behaviours and premature mortality. This proposal is of utmost public benefit, highlighting the importance of understanding the implications of childhood adversity on adult behavioural, psychological, cognitive and health outcomes. Only through understanding the pathway mechanisms and implications will there be hope of policy changes regarding increased funding towards preventative strategies and resourcing earlier interventions to prevent childhood adversity. Moreover, understanding the causal effects of adverse adult outcomes is of equal importance as we economically manage an increasing ageing population with comorbid disorders and overall decline.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 29 May, 2018
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Mental health, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity

B3081 - Helicobacter pylori - Association with cardiovascular disease and cancer - 13/03/2018

B number: 
B3081
Principal applicant name: 
Jie Zheng | MRC IEU, University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Ms Amanda Chong , Dr Evie Stergiakouli, Dr Tom Gaunt
Title of project: 
Helicobacter pylori - Association with cardiovascular disease and cancer
Proposal summary: 

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a gram-negative bacterium that colonises on the gastric epithelium, and there is clear evidence for its role in causing gastrointestinal diseases. Studies in the United Kingdom have demonstrated the prevalence of H. pylori infection status ranging from 26-66% of the population. There is increasing evidence of the role H. pylori in the development of other diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Given the relatively high prevalence of infection, this is potentially an important disease risk factor that merits causal investigation. Studies have suggested that infection with H. pylori may affect lipid metabolism, especially with the cardiovascular risk factors: HDL-cholesterol, triglyceride and apolipoproteins. By this mechanism, this could increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Additionally, studies have postulated that H. pylori could be involved in the development of atherosclerosis by causing vascular inflammation and endothelial dysfunction. H. pylori has also been shown to be involved in gastric carcinogenesis. Through the disruption of epithelial cell functions by H. pylori cytotoxin-associated antigen A (CagA), this oncogenic factor activates oncogenic pathways in these cells and induces epigenetic modifications which play a significant role in initiating carcinogenesis.

Impact of research: 
This research will contribute to the understanding of the causal role of H.pylori in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease and cancers, which can then inform public health policies by identifying specific biomarkers and advise novel interventions that can alleviate the risk of developing such diseases.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 13 March, 2018
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Cancer, Diabetes, Infection, Cardiovascular disease, GWAS, Statistical methods, Biomarkers - e.g. cotinine, fatty acids, haemoglobin, etc., Cardiovascular, Genetic epidemiology, Genome wide association study, Mendelian randomisation

B3094 - A novel genetic instrument for lifetime smoking indicates that smoking is a causal risk factor for depression and schizophrenia - 04/04/2018

B number: 
B3094
Principal applicant name: 
Robyn Wootton | University of Bristol
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
A novel genetic instrument for lifetime smoking indicates that smoking is a causal risk factor for depression and schizophrenia
Proposal summary: 

Smoking is highly co-morbid with several psychiatric conditions, but understanding the causal nature of this relationship is complicated by well-described issues of confounding and reverse causality. Mendelian randomisation uses genetic variants associated with an exposure (e.g., smoking) to examine causal pathways between the exposure and outcomes. Previous genetic instruments for smoking have only captured discrete aspects (e.g., initiation, heaviness of smoking), limiting power and requiring individual level data on smoking status for analyses of heaviness of smoking. To overcome these issues, we are developing a novel genetic instrument for comprehensive smoking exposure, which takes into account duration of smoking, heaviness of smoking, time since cessation, and a simulated half-life constant to capture the exponentially decreasing effect of smoking on health over time. Our instrument includes both smokers and non-smokers, removing the need to stratify on smoking status.
We have begun work on this instrument by conducting a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of our comprehensive smoking measure in the UK Biobank (N=463,003) and identified 124 independent SNPs associated at the genome-wide level of significance. Our two-sample Mendelian randomisation validation analysis confirmed that smoking causes lung cancer and coronary heart disease. To further establish the validity of the instrument we need to check that it predicts smoking in an independent sample. Here we hope to use ALSPAC, checking whether a polygenic risk score for lifetime smoking exposure predicts actual smoking behaviour. Secondly, we need to check that the instrument is not spuriously associated with any traits other than smoking. We can do this by checking for associations with other outcomes in ALSPAC.
If the instrument predicts smoking in ALSPAC and is not associated with other unexpected traits, we hope to go onto use our novel genetic instrument to explore bi-directional effects between smoking and mental health, focusing on schizophrenia and major depressive disorder.

Impact of research: 
If this is a valid genetic instrument of lifetime smoking exposure then it will be used very widely across Mendelian Randomisation studies, being widely cited.
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 3 April, 2018
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., PheWAS, Genetic epidemiology

B3108 - Longitudinal patterns and predictors of multiple cancer-risk behaviours among UK adolescents - 08/05/2018

B number: 
B3108
Principal applicant name: 
Caroline Wright | BRMS University of Bristol (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Ruth Kipping, Prof Rona Campbell, Matt Hickman, Jon Heron, Prof. Richard Martin
Title of project: 
Longitudinal patterns and predictors of multiple cancer-risk behaviours among UK adolescents
Proposal summary: 

Using two British cohort studies, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), this fellowship will explore the longitudinal patterns and predictors of multiple cancer-risk behaviours (MCRB). MCRB are modifiable behaviours including tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet and risky sexual behaviour that are associated with cancer incidence and mortality. Rather than focusing on specific cancers this research will cover a wide range of cancers that are associated with these behaviours.

Impact of research: 
Environmental and lifestyle interventions are an important way to reduce the burden of cancers. Through the identification of subgroups of adolescents with distinct patterns of MCRB, this research will differentiate between normative and sustained risk taking. By conducting analysis with respect to cancer related adverse health outcomes at age 25 years, it will pinpoint young people at greatest risk of developing lifelong patterns of cancer-causing risk behaviours. Further, by identifying the antecedents of membership to these subgroups, it will focus prevention and intervention strategies on those at greatest risk, inform the age at which an intervention should be applied and determine whether it is universal or targeted. Creating a new measure in ALSPAC of longitudinal patterns of cancer-risk behaviours, which once derived can be used by other researchers. Multiple research outputs, including conference presentations and papers.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 3 May, 2018
Keywords: 
Epidemiology

B3125 - Trajectories of Weight and Obesity From Birth to Adulthood According to Polygenic Susceptibility - 06/06/2018

B number: 
B3125
Principal applicant name: 
Kaitlin Wade | MRC-IEU (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
Trajectories of Weight and Obesity From Birth to Adulthood According to Polygenic Susceptibility
Proposal summary: 

We want to quantify what the impact of genetics across the whole genome has on weight and risk of severe obesity from birth to middle adulthood.

Impact of research: 
We may determine whether inborn polygenic susceptibility to increased weight and severe obesity manifests itself starting in early childhood and has substantial impact extending into middle age.
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 30 May, 2018
Keywords: 
Genetics, Obesity, GWAS, Statistical methods, BMI, Childhood - childcare, childhood adversity, Genetics

B3092 - epigenetic heritability of child psychiatric phenotypes - 04/04/2018

B number: 
B3092
Principal applicant name: 
Esther Walton | University of Bristol - IEU
Co-applicants: 
Dr Charlotte Cecil, Alexander Neumann
Title of project: 
epigenetic heritability of child psychiatric phenotypes
Proposal summary: 

Growing evidence points to a role of epigenetic alterations in the development of psychiatric disorders. DNA methylation – an epigenetic mechanism sensitive to both genetic and environmental influences – has been linked to a wide range of emotional and behavioral problems in childhood, including anxiety, depression, conduct problems and attention-deficit hyperactivity. However, findings to date have been primarily drawn from candidate gene studies, or EWAS studies investigating single sites across the genome. As a result, how much of the variance in psychiatric phenotypes is collectively explained by the methylome as a whole is currently unknown.

Impact of research: 
Findings could lend novel insights into the epigenetic landscape of child psychiatric symptoms.
Date proposal received: 
Thursday, 29 March, 2018
Keywords: 
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Behaviour - e.g. antisocial behaviour, risk behaviour, etc., Mental health, Microarrays, Statistical methods, Cognition - cognitive function, Epigenetics, Genetics, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc.

B3111 - Time-dependent associations between body mass/body composition physical activity diet and lung function in childhood - 08/05/2018

B number: 
B3111
Principal applicant name: 
Annabelle Bédard | Barcelona Institute for Global Health (Spain)
Co-applicants: 
Dr Judith Garcia-Aymerich, Ms Anne-Elie Carsin
Title of project: 
Time-dependent associations between body mass/body composition, physical activity, diet and lung function in childhood
Proposal summary: 

The large increase in the prevalence of respiratory diseases over the last decades, in the West more particularly, cannot be explained by genetics only. It has been hypothesized that these increases are a consequence of changing environmental and/or lifestyle factors. Given the multifactorial aspect of these diseases, it is thus important to take into account the interrelations between these factors and respiratory health. The interrelations between body mass/body composition, physical activity, diet and lung function in childhood and adulthood have been incompletely addressed, likely because their time-dependent and bidirectional nature represent a methodologically challenging research question. Marginal structural models (MSMs) allow estimation of causal effects in observational studies by addressing time-dependent confounding (Robins JM et al. Epidemiology 2000). This approach has still limited application in respiratory epidemiology. We aim to investigate the joint and independent causal effects of body mass/body composition, physical activity and diet on lung function during childhood and early adulthood using MSMs in children from the ALSPAC study.

Impact of research: 
Respiratory diseases are global public health concerns, and leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children and adults. This research project could thus lead to potential public health interventions such as dietary, physical activity or weight loss interventions to improve lung function, prevent lung function decline etc. As per the methodological aspect of this project, we will assess the relevance of using novel methods from the causal inference framework to investigate research questions for which standard epidemiological methods are usually used and/or where knowledge is still needed. Through dissemination of its outcomes, this research project will potentially inform study design and methodology to improve causal inference when investigating specific research questions.
Date proposal received: 
Saturday, 5 May, 2018
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, Obesity, Respiratory - asthma, Statistical methods, BMI, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Nutrition - breast feeding, diet, Physical - activity, fitness, function, Statistical methods

B3127 - Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy An epigenome-wide association study - 06/06/2018

B number: 
B3127
Principal applicant name: 
Gemma Sharp | IEU, University of Bristol (UK)
Co-applicants: 
Miss Laura Schellhas
Title of project: 
Maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy: An epigenome-wide association study
Proposal summary: 

Rationale: Animal studies have provided some evidence that maternal caffeine consumption can influence offspring DNA methylation (PMIDs: 22970234, 24475304, 25354728, 25868845, 25868845), but what about humans?

Impact of research: 
Clarifying the association of caffeine intake during pregnancy and offspring methylation at birth in humans
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 1 June, 2018
Keywords: 
Genetic epidemiology (including association studies and mendelian randomisation), Addiction - e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, gambling, etc., Pregnancy - e.g. reproductive health, postnatal depression, birth outcomes, etc., epigenome-wide association study, Biological samples -e.g. blood, cell lines, saliva, etc., Birth outcomes, Development, Epigenetics, Genetic epidemiology, Genetics, Mothers - maternal age, menopause, obstetrics, Methods - e.g. cross cohort analysis, data mining, mendelian randomisation, etc., Offspring

B3555 - The EU Child Cohort Networks core variables establishing a set of findable accessible interoperable and reusable FAIR data - 10/06/2020

B number: 
B3555
Principal applicant name: 
Angela Pinot de Moira | University of Copenhagen (United Kingdom)
Co-applicants: 
Title of project: 
The EU Child Cohort Network’s core variables: establishing a set of findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) data
Proposal summary: 

LifeCycle is a cross-cohort collaboration which brings together data from pregnancy and child cohorts from across Europe and also Australia to facilitate studies on the influence of early-life exposures on cardio-metabolic, respiratory and mental health outcomes. The end product of this collaboration is a sustainable data resource known as the EU Child Cohort Network.
In the proposed paper we provide a detailed description of the EU Child Cohort Network’s core variables; a set of basic variables, derivable by the majority of participating cohorts and frequently needed as covariates in life-course research. We firstly describe the process adopted to establish a list of core variables and the protocol developed to harmonise these core data, thus making them interoperable. This protocol also defines the harmonisation process adopted generally within LifeCycle. Secondly, we describe the catalogue developed to ensure that all EU Child Cohort Network data are both findable and reusable. Finally, we describe the core data themselves, including the proportion of variables harmonised by each cohort and the number of children with harmonised data.
We would also like to provide some summary statistics (N and % for categorical variables, and N, mean, standard deviation for continuous variables) on some key variables (namely, sex, maternal education at baseline, mother’s ethnic background, mother’s parity, mother’s smoking in pregnancy, size for gestational age, whether the index child was ever breastfed, age of the mother at birth, birth weight and gestational age). These variables have already been harmonised as part of the LifeCycle project. To obtain the requested summary statistics, we have prepared some R code for individual cohorts to run on their harmonised datasets.
The paper is already written and we hope to submit it to the Journal of Epidemiology in the summer.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Tuesday, 9 June, 2020
Keywords: 
Epidemiology, LifeCycle focuses on cardiovascular, respiratory and mental health outcomes, Data harmonisation, Cross-cohort collaboration, data harmonisation

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