Studies - 1982 Cohort

Cohorts are studies also known as longitudinal studies, which are based on the identification of a group of individuals and on their follow-up over a period of time. The term cohort was created for referring to groups of soldiers who marched together in Roman legions during the Roman Empire.

On 1st January 1982, the first great epidemiological study in Brazil began in Pelotas. The young Doctors Fernando Barros and Cesar Victora were responsible for developing a kind of research that was only made in European countries or in the United States, due to the follow-up difficulties and the high expenses.
The study, known as 1982 Birth Cohort, is about the follow-up of all children who were born at Pelotas' hospitals in 1982. Altogether, there were 5.914 alive newborns, whose mothers lived in the urban area of the city. The research's goal, by that time, was to evaluate the influence that inherent factors in the children’s period of birth had on their childhood health. Those factors included, among others, the health conditions of the mother and the baby, the baby's weight when he/she were born, the feeding, the environmental conditions in which the family lived (sanitation and habitation), and the quality of medical assistance that the children used to receive.
The central hypothesis of the study was that the health of Brazilian children, from a country with so many inequalities, should be based on the social reality understanding.
This pioneering research was so well accepted by the scientific community that, in the year after its beginning, the World Health Organization (WHO) provided funding for the realization of the first follow-up after the births. Then, other international organizations became interested in the project. The 1982 Birth Cohort became a world reference and gathered important researchers of different health areas.
With so much interest of the many world science sections, the 1982 Birth Cohort study was beyond their initial research expectations on children health. All the 1982 births of Pelotas keep being followed until now. The research, now, aims the evaluation about the influence of the birth inherent factors in the adolescents and adults lives.
At some moment, while the first field visits to the 1982 Birth Cohort participants were occurring, the researchers planned to start a new birth cohort study. The central objective was to allow a comparison of temporal trends in the maternal and child populations' features, and in their main health indicators. With the European Economic Community funding, the new study was organized to start in 1993. And, like the 1982 Birth Cohort, the 1993 Birth Cohort has been following all births of Pelotas in 1993 until now.
In order to know the natural history of the populations and to analyse what changes over time, it was developed a new birth cohort study in 2004, following the same distance period of the 1982 Birth Cohort to the 1993 Birth Cohort.

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Epidemiology Postgraduate Program- Centre of Epidemiological Research