Initially, the study focus was on perinatal, infant, and early childhood morbidity and mortality. We were particularly interested in breastfeeding patterns and nutritional status, as well as social and environmental factors. Deaths of cohort members were identified by regular visits to all hospitals, cemeteries, offices of civil registrations, and local health authorities, since 1982.
By mid-childhood, the study shifted in emphasis to child care, utilization of health services, selected morbidity indicators, and child development. A random sub-sample of 360 four-year-olds was selected for an in-depth study of psychomotor development.
In adolescence, issues related to sexual and reproductive behaviours (including teenage pregnancies), habits such as smoking and alcohol drinking, mental health, and education became the focus of the investigation. A sub-study investigated oral health in a random sample of 900 adolescents, and an ethnographic study of 96 cohort members, stratified by sex and socioeconomic status, has included repeated in-depth visits from the age of 15 to 30 years, aimed at understanding the role of adolescent development in influencing high-risk behaviours.
In more recent phases, with cohort members being young adults, the main emphasis has shifted to risk factors for chronic disease (including smoking, diet, physical exercise, and overweight), reproductive history, and mental health.
Last update – 21/06/2017