2019 Volume 29 Issue 7 Pages 272-277
Background: The early life environment is now recognized as a key factor contributing to susceptibility to certain diseases in later life.
Methods: We initiated a cohort study among school children in 2011 to primarily investigate the associations between lifestyle and environmental factors and some surrogate markers of chronic diseases, such as cardiometabolic risk factors (ie, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood glucose, insulin, or lipids) and cancer risk factors (ie, height and age at menarche). A baseline questionnaire asked for information, including demographic variables, medical history and use of medication, dietary habits, physical activity, sleep habits, and behavioral and emotional problems of children. Follow-up surveys are planned for the fourth grade of elementary school and the first grade of junior high school. At these follow-up surveys, fasting blood samples will be obtained to measure cardiometabolic markers. We also checked the validity of a food frequency questionnaire, which was originally created for 6-year-olds but was modified for use in older children.
Results: A total of 3,141 first-year students at elementary schools in Hekinan City, Aichi Prefecture, participated in the study. The response rate was 87.4%. The means of age and body mass index were 6.99 (standard deviation, 0.28) years and 15.3 (standard deviation, 1.7) kg/m2, respectively, in the 3,067 Japanese children (1,639 boys and 1,428 girls).
Conclusions: This cohort will reveal determinants of cardiometabolic risk factors and cancer risk factors during childhood.