Cohorts of children for the study of childhood diseases in relation to environmental and genetic factors Print


During the last decades, many studies have shown a strong impact of the exposure to environmental factors (physical, chemical, biological, psycho-social, nutritional)


during the period of intrauterine growth and the early years of life, on the development of some childhood illnesses and even of adulthood diseases (obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension). Studies based on birth cohorts have the best design to study these issues.

The Department of Epidemiology is contributing to this kind of studies with 2 projects:

  • the GASPII (Genetics and Environment: Prospective Study on Childhood in Italy) research project (, with the aim of studying the risk factors for childhood diseases and deepening the insight into the interaction between the genetic and the biological/environmental component on a cohort of infants born in Rome in 2003-2004.
  • the PICCOLIPIU' birth cohort ( enrolling newborns in 5 Italian cities (Turin, Trieste, Florence, Rome), with the aim of enrolling an Italian birth cohort to study the etiology of childhood disease and to use new tools for the dissemination of messages for the prevention of child health.

European networks have been set up ( with the purpose of reviewing and / or joining the existing cohorts to describe their objectives and their methods of study and, where possible, do incorporated statistical analysis


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