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The New Zealand asthma and allergy cohort study (NZA2CS): assembly, demographics and investigations

Epton, M., Town, G., Ingham, T., Wickens, K., Fishwick, D. and Crane, J. (2007) The New Zealand asthma and allergy cohort study (NZA2CS): assembly, demographics and investigations. BMC Public Health, 7 (1). p. 26. ISSN 1471-2458

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Asthma and allergy are highly prevalent in industrialised countries. Longitudinal and cross-sectional studies have identified a number of potential risk factors for these conditions, including genetic and environmental factors, with significant gene-environment relationships. Birth cohort studies have been proposed as an important tool to explore these risk factors, particularly exposures in early life that are associated with later disease or protection from disease. This paper describes the establishment of a birth cohort in New Zealand.

METHODS:

A birth cohort was established in 1996 in Christchurch and Wellington and infants recruited between 1997–2001. Expectant mothers were recruited by midwives. Children and mothers have undergone assessment by serial questionnaires, environmental assessment including mould and allergen exposure, skin-prick testing, and at age six years are undergoing full assessment for the presence of asthma, atopy and allergic disease, including genetic assessment.

RESULTS:

A total of 1105 children have been recruited, and the retention rate at fifteen months was 91.4%. 15.2% of the children at recruitment have been identified as Maori. A positive family history of asthma, eczema or hay fever has been reported in 84% of children. All children have now been assessed at fifteen months and 685 children from the cohort have reached age six years and have completed the six year assessment.

CONCLUSION:

The cohort is fully assembled, and assessment of children is well advanced, with good retention rates. The study is well placed to address many current hypotheses about the risk factors for allergic disease and asthma.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 Epton et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Medicine (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Sheffield Import
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2009 10:23
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2009 09:40
Published Version: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/7/26
Status: Published
Publisher: Biomed Central
Identification Number: 10.1186/1471-2458-7-26
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9646

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