- World’s oldest pre-birth cohort study launches its biggest ever follow-up in Perth
- World-first multi-generational Australian study has tracked almost 3,000 young adults over 33 years since they were 18 weeks in-utero
- Urgently wants to reconnect with past and present Raine Study participants of all ages – “never too late!”
22 March 2023: Researchers at the Raine Study have this week started booking appointments for a world-beating 18th follow-up study of two generations of the same research participants.
For 33 years, 2,900 Perth women and the 2,868 children they gave birth to between 1989 and 1992 have taken part in 17 different research studies tracking their physical and mental health.
Starting with a study of the impact of ultrasound during pregnancy, the Raine Study has collected millions of bits of biological, lifestyle, and environmental data from these babies and their parents at multiple checkpoints through infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Now, for the first time in the Raine Study’s history scientists can collect the same consistent data in the same timeframe from these same two generations of participants.
This latest study has been nicknamed the Generations Follow-Up because of this multi-generational focus. To be successful, the Raine Study needs to complete assessments with as many of the original parents and their now 33-year-old offspring as it can over the next three years
The Raine Study’s Scientific Director Associate Professor Rebecca Glauert is calling on anyone who was once part of the Raine Study to get back in contact, via the website, email, social media, or telephone.
She wants past participants to know that it’s never too late to re-engage with the Raine Study: “It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you last saw us, or where you might be in Australia or around the world – you’ll always be part of the Raine Study. Your involvement in this Generations Follow-Up will make the Raine Study incrementally, exponentially better.”
What this means:
- A longitudinal cohort study is a type of research study that follows the same large groups of people over a long time. Participants take part in regular studies on a broad range of factors addressing their physical and mental health.
- Pregnancy cohort studies enable scientists to understand the origins of a child’s future health from before they are born.
- The Raine Study was the first to investigate the origins of a child’s future health from before birth and continues to use this information to demonstrate the pre-birth origins of disease and ill-health not only in childhood but through adolescence and into adulthood.
- In collaboration with its participants, the Raine Study has collected extensive data on health, mental health, behaviour, environment, and social, educational, and work outcomes.
- It holds over 30,000 phenotypic data points, 30 million genetic data points, and over 170,000 biosamples (blood, saliva, faeces, cord blood, baby teeth) from each of the babies born into the Raine Study and has been able to link this (anonymised) data to WA government sources including school and hospital records.
- Thanks to the Raine Study, researchers have established the direct link between a pregnant woman’s health choices and her child’s health outcomes. These learnings have translated into global health policy, from setting foetal growth standards to confirming that children conceived via IVF have the same long-term health outlook by adulthood as their naturally conceived counterparts.
- With the collection of a consistent data set from the two generations in the same period, scientists will be able to identify familial risk factors that contribute to the development of diseases such as diabetes, help distinguish between the effects of genetic and environmental factors on health outcomes, Identify the long-term health outcomes of exposures to environmental toxins, or explore the determinants of health disparities.
Raine Study participants who want to get back in touch can do so by:
- Updating their contact information online at https://rainestudy.org.au
- Email email@example.com
- Phone +61 8 6488 6952
- Sending a message via Facebook or Instagram
About the Raine Study
The Raine Study is a joint venture between The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Telethon Kids Institute, Women and Infants Research Foundation, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and The University of Notre Dame Australia. Flinders University in South Australia and Newcastle University in New South Wales are Institutional Partners. The study receives additional funding support from the Raine Medical Research Foundation and National Health and Medical Research Council.
There are currently more than 150 researchers utilising the Raine Study’s key datasets within four overarching pillars of health research: Physical Health, Mental Health, Lifestyle, and Genetics. They bring expertise from 14 broad areas of research covering asthma and atopy, cardiovascular and metabolic heath, developmental growth, dental health, diabetes, genetic epidemiology, gastro-enterology, infection and immunity, mental health, musculoskeletal development, nutrition, physical activity, ophthalmology, pregnancy and birth, reproductive health, sleep, and risk-taking behaviour.
Media contact: Kate Rowlands, Communications Manager, The Raine Study: firstname.lastname@example.org, +61 437 005 173 (UTC +8/AWST timezone)