The Generation R Study: design and cohort update until the age of 4 years.
ABSTRACT The Generation R Study is a population-based prospective cohort study from fetal life until young adulthood. The study is designed to identify early environmental and genetic causes of normal and abnormal growth, development and health from fetal life until young adulthood. The study focuses on four primary areas of research: (1) growth and physical development; (2) behavioural and cognitive development; (3) diseases in childhood; and (4) health and healthcare for pregnant women and children. In total, 9,778 mothers with a delivery date from April 2002 until January 2006 were enrolled in the study. Of all eligible children at birth, 61% participate in the study. In addition, more detailed assessments are conducted in a subgroup of 1,232 pregnant women and their children. Data collection in the prenatal phase and postnatal phase until the age of 4 years includes questionnaires, detailed physical and ultrasound examinations, behavioural observations and biological samples. This paper gives an update of the study design and cohort profile until the children's age of 4 years. Eventually, results forthcoming from the Generation R Study have to contribute to the development of strategies for optimizing health and healthcare for pregnant women and children.
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ABSTRACT: Greater maternal prepregnancy adiposity has been associated with behavioral problems, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and lower intellectual function in offspring. However, few studies of humans have explored this, and it is unclear if intrauterine mechanisms or confounding factors drive these associations. Parental adiposity and offspring verbal skills, nonverbal skills, and behavioral problems were assessed in the British Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (N = ∼5000) and Dutch Generation R (N = ∼2500) cohorts. We aimed to determine the plausibility of intrauterine effects by (1) adjusting for multiple confounders, (2) comparing associations between maternal and paternal overweight with offspring cognition/behaviors, and (3) searching for cross-cohort consistency. Maternal prepregnancy overweight was associated with reduced child verbal skills (unadjusted). However, after adjusting for confounders, this result was not consistently observed in both cohorts. Maternal overweight was also associated with child total behavior problems and externalizing problems even after adjusting for confounders. However, this was observed in Generation R only and was not replicated in the British Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. No associations of maternal overweight with child attention problems, emotional/internalizing problems, or nonverbal skills were observed in either cohort. Paternal overweight was not associated with any of the child outcomes but was also less strongly related to potential confounding factors than was maternal overweight. Overall, we found little consistent evidence of intrauterine effects of maternal prepregnancy overweight on child cognition and behavior. Some associations initially observed were not consistently replicated across cohorts or robust to adjustment for confounding factors and, thus, are likely to reflect confounding by socioeconomic or postnatal factors.PEDIATRICS 01/2011; 127(1):e202-11. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Biological development is driven by a complex dance between nurture and nature, determined not only by the specific features of the interacting genetic and environmental influences but also by the timing of their rendezvous. The initiation of large-scale longitudinal studies, ever-expanding knowledge of genetics, and increasing availability of neuroimaging data to provide endophenotypic bridges between molecules and behavior are beginning to provide some insight into interactions of developmental stage, genes, and the environment, although daunting challenges remain. Prominent amongst these challenges are difficulties in identifying and quantifying relevant environmental factors, discerning the relative contributions to multiply determined outcomes, and the likelihood that brain development is a non-linear dynamic process in which small initial differences may yield large later effects. Age-sensitive mechanisms include developmental changes in gene expression, epigenetic modifications, synaptic arborization/pruning, and maturational improvements in our capacity to seek out environments of our choosing. Greater understanding of how genetic and environmental factors interact differently across ages is an important step toward elucidating the mechanisms by which phenotypes are created - and how they may differ in health and disease. This knowledge may also provide clues to guide the type and timing of interventions to maximize outcomes.Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 03/2011; 52(4):429-41. · 5.42 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: In this study, the independent and combined associations between childhood appetitive traits and parental obesity on weight gain from 0 to 24 months and body mass index (BMI) z-score at 24 months in a diverse community-based sample of dual parent families (n = 213) were examined. DESIGN AND METHODS: Participants were mothers who had recently completed a randomized trial of weight loss for overweight/obese postpartum women. As measures of childhood appetitive traits, mothers completed subscales of the Children's Eating Behavior Questionnaire, including Desire to Drink (DD), Enjoyment of Food (EF), and Satiety Responsiveness (SR), and a 24-h dietary recall for their child. Heights and weights were measured for all children and mothers and self-reported for mothers' partners. The relationship between children's appetitive traits and parental obesity on toddler weight gain and BMI z-score were evaluated using multivariate linear regression models, controlling for a number of potential confounders. RESULTS: Having two obese parents was related to greater weight gain from birth to 24 months independent of childhood appetitive traits, and although significant associations were found between appetitive traits (DD and SR) and child BMI z-score at 24 months, these associations were observed only among children who had two obese parents. When both parents were obese, increasing DD and decreasing SR were associated with a higher BMI z-score. CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight the importance of considering familial risk factors when examining the relationship between childhood appetitive traits on childhood obesity.Obesity 04/2013; 21(4):815-823. · 3.92 Impact Factor