Mutaba’ah—Mother and Child Health Study: protocol for a prospective cohort study investigating the maternal and early life determinants of infant, child, adolescent and maternal health in the United Arab Emirates
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Introduction: Early life exposures, particularly environmental and parental lifestyle factors, have a major influence on children’s health and development. Due to increasing interest in the early life developmental origins of diseases, many birth cohorts have been established. These studies constitute a repository of data which researchers use over many years to investigate emerging research questions. However, no such databank or cohort study is available in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This project aims to establish a prospective mother and child cohort study in Al Ain (Abu Dhabi, UAE) to investigate the maternal and early life determinants of infant, child, adolescent and maternal health of the Emirati population. Methods and analysis: During the period 2017–2021, this study aims to recruit 10000 pregnancies at approximately 12 weeks of gestation from hospitals and clinics in Al Ain city. For each mother/newborn pair, an initial dataset will be collected including anthropometric, physiological and biochemical measurements, medical interventions, circumstances of pregnancy, delivery details and neonatal and perinatal growth and health using a combination of questionnaires, interviews and medical record extractions. Baseline data will act as the starting point from which the children will be followed up and re-surveyed at intervals throughout their life course until the age of 16 years, to explore how familial, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors interact with genetic and environmental factors to influence health outcomes and achievements later in life. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval has been granted by the United Arab Emirates University Human Research Ethics Committee and the ethical committees of the participating institutions. Results will be widely disseminated via peer-reviewed manuscripts, conference presentations, media outlets and reports to relevant authorities.