Methodology of the pelotas birth cohort study from 1982 to 2004-5, Southern Brazil

Fernando C. Barros, Cesar G. Victora, Bernardo L. Horta, Denise P. Gigante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To describe the methods employed in the longitudinal and follow-up studies of children born in Pelotas (Southern Brazil) in 1982. METHODS: The cohort began with a perinatal health survey that included all 6,011 children born in maternity wards in Pelotas in 1982. The 5,914 children born alive in the city were included in the follow-up studies. By 2004-5, we had conducted eight follow-ups, which consisted of the administration of questionnaires to mothers and/or cohort members, depending on age, in addition to anthropometric and clinical examination. Cohort subjects are described in terms of demographic, socioeconomic, and health-related variables collected during early follow-up studies, which are used as exposure variables. RESULTS: The majority of subjects in the cohort were followed for 23 years and on multiple occasions. The most successful follow-ups were those preceded by a city census. Using this method, we were able to locate 87.2% of subjects in 1984 (mean age 19 months), 84.1% in 1986 (mean age 43 months), and 77.4% in 2004-5, and 77.4% in 2004-5 (mean age 23 years). CONCLUSIONS: Birth cohort studies can be carried out successfully in developing countries, and the methods employed in this life-cycle study have allowed us to investigate the infl uence of early exposures in determining disease outcomes in adult life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalRevista de Saude Publica
Issue numberSUPPL.2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine(all)


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