Welcome to Birthcohorts Japan Homepage

In recent years, a variety of birth cohorts have begun around the world, especially in Europe and America. Networks and consortia of these birthcohorts have been established, and data integration and meta-analysis have been actively performed. An impetus for this development is the increasing awareness of the long-term health effects of intrauterine and early life combined with a renewed attention to the life-course approach in epidemiology based on the concept of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD*).

In Japan, the concept of preemptive medicine, which is a novel medical paradigm that advocates for pre-symptomatic diagnosis or prevention intervention at an early stage to prevent disease onset, has been proposed, and policy strategic proposals based on this approach have been made. Recently, collaborations of birth cohort studies are being supported by the project for babies and infants in research of health and development to adolescent and young adult (BIRTHDAY) of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) on the basis of the current Japanese Government’s healthcare policy “Overcoming health issues according to life stage”, which has come to be taken up as important policies of numbers of local governments.

Collaborations of birthcohorts are lagged behind in Japan. However, we hope that this database will enable collaborations among birth cohorts in Japan and demonstrate the Japanese evidence to the world.

*the concept that inappropriate environments such as undernutrition, growth restriction, stress and exposure to chemicals during fetal to childhood may be risk factors of various non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, malignancy and psychiatric disorders in later life.

Which cohorts can be included?
1. Cohorts that were initiated before or during pregnancy or at or after birth with data at birth, such as from maternity record books
2. Cohorts with at least one year of follow-up
3. Cohorts with at least 300 mother–child pairs