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Data Resource Profile: The ALSPAC birth cohort as a platform to study the relationship of environment and health and social factors.

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posted on 07.06.2019, 10:13 by A Boyd, R Thomas, AL Hansell, J Gulliver, LM Hicks, R Griggs, J Vande Hey, CM Taylor, T Morris, J Golding, R Doerner, D Fecht, J Henderson, DA Lawlor, NJ Timpson, J Macleod
This resource profile describes the information about the physical and social environment collected within the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) birth cohort. This includes spatial and temporal information gathered on three generations about: area-level built and social characteristics (e.g. density and location of fast-food outlets, crime rates within a neighbourhood); exposure measurements (e.g. air pollution concentrations, temperature records); participant-reported data directly related to the spaces and places they inhabit (e.g. neighbourhood safety, presence of damp within a home); information directly measured from participants (e.g. blood lead and total mercury concentrations, physical activity); the location information needed to link these diverse data. We describe the platform’s previous uses, strengths and weaknesses and access arrangements, emphasizing confidentiality safeguard controls. This profile highlights a particular class of ALSPAC data (with distinct access arrangements) to promote the potential for incorporating physical environment and other spatially-dependent data into research investigations.


The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust (102215/2/13/2) and the University of Bristol currently provide core support for ALSPAC (Prinicpal Investigator: N.T.). A comprehensive list of ALSPAC funding is available on our website [http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/external/documents/grant-acknowledgements.pdf]. This work was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council (R8/H12/83/NE/P01830/1) as part of the ‘Enhancing Environmental data Resources In Cohort studies: ALSPAC exemplar’ (ERICA) award (Principal Investigator: A.B.). The Wellcome Trust (WT086118) supported the wider development of the ALSPAC geospatial resource through the ‘Project to Enhance ALSPAC through Record Linkage’ (PEARL) award (Principal Investigator: J.M.). ALSPAC G2 data collection and analyses are supported by core funds (see above) and also the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007–2013)/ERC Grant Agreement (Grant number 669545) and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (R01 DK10324). D.L. and N.T. work in or are affiliated to a Unit that receives support from the UK Medical Research Council (MC_UU_00011/6) and University of Bristol. N.T. is a Wellcome Trust Investigator (202802/Z/16/Z), is supported by the University of Bristol NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC-1215–20011), and works within the CRUK Integrative Cancer Epidemiology Programme (C18281/A19169). C.T. is supported by a Wellcome Career Re-entry Fellowship (104077/Z/14/Z). J.V.H's NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (NE/M007073/1) (Principal Investigator: J.V.H.) supported exploration of impact routes for environmental data. This publication is the work of the authors, who will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper.



International Journal of Epidemiology, 2019, dyz063

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International Journal of Epidemiology


Oxford University Press (OUP) for International Epidemiological Association



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Supplementary data are available at IJE online.



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