Birth cohort studies can contribute substantially to the understanding of health and disease — in childhood and over the life course. The KUNO-Kids birth cohort study was established to investigate various aspects of child health, using novel omics technologies in a systems medicine approach. After 3 years of recruitment, 2515 infants and their families have joined the study. Parents with higher education are overrepresented as in many other birth cohorts and are more likely to complete follow-up assessments via self-report questionnaires. The vast majority of participants consented to clinical examinations of their child and to the non-invasive collection of diverse biosamples, which were processed specifically for their integrated use in omics technology covering genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, and microbiome analyses of the skin, oral cavity, and stool. The data and diverse biomaterial collected in the KUNO-Kids birth cohort study will provide extensive opportunities for investigating child health and its determinants in a holistic approach. The combination of a broad range of research questions in one study will allow for a cost-effective use of biomaterial and omics results and for a comprehensive analysis of biological and social determinants of health and disease. Aiming for low attrition and ensuring participants’ long-term commitment will be crucial to fully exploit the potential of the study.
Brandstetter, S., Toncheva, A. A., Niggel, J., Wolff, C., Gran, S., … Kabesch, M. (2019). KUNO-Kids birth cohort study: rationale, design, and cohort description. Molecular and Cellular Pediatrics, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40348-018-0088-z