Environments For Healthy Living (EFHL) Griffith birth cohort study: characteristics of sample and profile of antenatal exposures
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Background The Environments for Healthy Living (EFHL) study is a repeated sample, longitudinal birth cohort in South East Queensland, Australia. We describe the sample characteristics and profile of maternal, household, and antenatal exposures. Variation and data stability over recruitment years were examined. Methods Four months each year from 2006, pregnant women were recruited to EFHL at routine antenatal visits on or after 24 weeks gestation, from three public maternity hospitals. Participating mothers completed a baseline questionnaire on individual, familial, social and community exposure factors. Perinatal data were extracted from hospital birth records. Descriptive statistics and measures of association were calculated comparing the EFHL birth sample with regional and national reference populations. Data stability of antenatal exposure factors was assessed across five recruitment years (2006-2010 inclusive) using the Gamma statistic for ordinal data and chi-squared for nominal data. Results Across five recruitment years 2,879 pregnant women were recruited which resulted in 2904 live births with 29 sets of twins. EFHL has a lower representation of early gestational babies, fewer still births and a lower percentage of low birth weight babies, when compared to regional data. The majority of women (65%) took a multivitamin supplement during pregnancy, 47% consumed alcohol, and 26% reported having smoked cigarettes. There were no differences in rates of a range of antenatal exposures across five years of recruitment, with the exception of increasing maternal pre-pregnancy weight (p=0.0349), decreasing rates of high maternal distress (p=0.0191) and decreasing alcohol consumption (p<0.0001). Conclusions The study sample is broadly representative of births in the region and almost all factors showed data stability over time. This study, with repeated sampling of birth cohorts over multiple years, has the potential to make important contributions to population health through evaluating longitudinal follow-up and within cohort temporal effects.
BMC Public Health
Copyright 2012 Cameron1 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.
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