The Center of Epidemiological Research (CPE), which nowadays is considered a national and an international reference for studies about Life Cycle Health, arose due to the beginning of the first great birth cohort studies of Pelotas.
Known as 1982 Birth Cohort, the study consists of the follow-up of all births that happened in Pelotas in 1982.
In total, there were 5.914 births that year.
Researchers have been following those people since their birth until now, through interviews realized in different moments.

This study was initially conducted by the pediatrician Fernando Barros, who was Professor of the Catholic University of Pelotas (Brazil) and who came back to Pelotas in 1980, after having finished his Master's in Maternal and Child Health at University of London (U K).
During the period Professor Barros studied in UK, he came into contact with the European cohort studies, and he could realize that their methodology was an efficient way to study the natural history of diseases and to analyse the influence of untimely factors on the process of becoming ill in adult life.

Thus, Professor Barros developed a methodology for the follow-up of all neonates of the three maternity hospitals from Pelotas.
In that time, the number of home births was very low, which guaranteed that the analyzed population consisted of almost all births in Pelotas urban area in 1982.
The related material of this study was also used for the Doctoral research in Epidemiology of Professor Barros at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the University of London.
Professor Barros advisor was Professor J. Patrick Vaughan, and the funding support for this project was provided by a research funding organization from Canada (International Development Research Centre – IDRC).
As the funding was effectively provided in May of 1982, the first fieldwork months were conducted with the volunteering work of professors and residents of two Medical Schools of Pelotas.

By the end of the perinatal study, Doctor Cesar Victora, who was Professor of the Federal University of Pelotas, joined the project.
He was finishing his Doctoral research, also at the University of London.
Professor Barros and Professor Victora, together, prepared the first follow-up study of the 1982 Birth Cohort and of all the subsequent stages until nowadays.
The last follow-up of the 1982 Birth Cohort occurred in 2012, when the research participants completed 30 years old.


After the first funding, which was obtained through the Canadian International Development Research Centre in 1982, the first follow-up study of the birth cohort was funded by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO identified the project as worth for revealing new aspects of health-disease factors in maternal and child populations groups in developing countries.
After this funding, many international organizations have become interested in the project, and European organizations have had an important role in the funding of other study stages.
The 1982 Birth Cohort of Pelotas has become a world reference and has started to gather important researchers of different health areas.

1993 and 2004 Birth Cohorts

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.
The 1993 Birth Cohort followed the same criteria used by the first cohort, but its methodology was much more complex.
In 1993, there was a high concentration on the follow-ups of the participants first year of life.
This was only possible because in that year there was already a consolidated research structure, where a growing and enthusiastic group of researchers were working.
This group showed new ideas and hypotheses that were added to the project.
In 2004, with the group of researchers much stronger, the third cohort study began.
The 2004 Birth Cohort appeared to consolidate the comparative researches of generations.
The researchers wanted to know the natural history of the populations, and to analyse what changes over time.
At present, CPE maintains the greatest universe of Latin American cohort participants.
Altogether, there are 15 thousand people of three different generations, who were followed since their births.
Owing to those studies, more than 500 scientific articles have already been published and the Postgraduate Program in Epidemiology at UFPel was created to teach postgraduates from all over the world.

Epidemiology Postgraduate Program- Centre of Epidemiological Research