The Danish National Birth Cohort: 18 years follow-up

The Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC) is a valuable resource for etiologic epidemiologic research, particularly in how health and disease are influenced by events in fetal life and early childhood. Data from the DNBC is used to study when and why obesity and metabolic disorders develop, the causes and consequences of frequent infections in childhood and the development of asthma and allergy. In addition, data from the DNBC is used to study causes and consequences of mental disorders, early markers of severe psychiatric disorders, and musculoskeletal disorders.

The DNBC includes approximately 96,000 children, born between 1996 and 2003 and has been followed since their mothers were pregnant. The mothers were interviewed about their health and lifestyles twice while pregnant, and at child age ½ and 1½ years. When the children reached the age of 7, the parents received a questionnaire about the child’s life and development. In the 11-year follow-up, the children and their parents, most often the mother completed the web-based questionnaires. The data collection was completed in September 2014. Through these questionnaires, information on the child’s life, lifestyle, health and well-being was collected. The 18-year follow-up started in March 2016 and will run until ultimo 2021. The adolescents are invited to answer a questionnaire around the time they turn 18, and they are able to answer on smartphones, tablets and computers.

The 18-year follow-up has a great focus on mental health among the young participants. In recent years, poor mental health has been a major problem for the well-being of young people. However, the factors leading to poor mental health are poorly understood. The 18-year follow-up includes questions about affective disorders, ADHD, disturbed eating behavior, self-harm and suicidal.

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Contact: Professor Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen (head of DNBC) og Associate professor Katrine Strandberg-Larsen (18 years follow-up).