UCL News


Life Study: latest UK birth cohort study named

17 July 2012

UCL Institute of Child Health

The latest UK birth cohort study was named ‘Life Study’ at a central London meeting earlier today. The launch of the study's name and identity coincides with a consultative conference on the study for UK academics and policymakers.

“This is an important and exciting moment for the study,” said Professor Carol Dezateux, Director of Life Study. “We are embarking on a ground-breaking and ambitious study which will enrol over 100,000 mothers and their partners during pregnancy and follow them and their babies through childhood into adult life.

"Families that take part will be supporting research which will make a real difference to our understanding of children’s lives now and for the future. We needed to find a memorable name for the study that could grow alongside its participants and have meaning for them whatever their background.”

Ideas for names were developed and then tested with pregnant mothers and their partners at focus groups held in London and Birmingham earlier this year. The focus groups were also asked to comment on different straplines and visual representations of the study.

UK academics from social, environmental, clinical, and biomedical sciences together with UK policymakers attending today’s scientific conference have an opportunity to engage with Life Study and its design and to comment on the topics and measures that have been proposed for inclusion in the pilot phase of the study, due to commence in 2013.

Professor Paul Boyle, Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) which funds Life Study, in partnership with the Medical Research Council (MRC), said: “There can be no more important goal than to improve the lives, health and wellbeing of children, which is exactly what Life Study aims to do. This critical study will help researchers to understand the complex interaction between biology, behaviour and the environment, and how this interaction influences a child’s health and wellbeing as he/she develops. It will help us identify the ‘pathways’ leading to important adverse health, educational and social outcomes in early childhood."


Image caption: UCL Institute of Child Health, home to Life Study.

For more information contact: Justin O'Brien (E: justin.o’brien@ucl.ac.uk; T: +44 020 7905 2137)