The Northern Finland Birth Cohort Studies is an epidemiological and longitudinal research program which aims to promote health and well-being of the population. The prospective data collected from the Northern Finland forms a unique resource, allowing to study the emergence of diseases which can be based on genetic, biological, social or behavioral risk factors.
The Northern Finland Birth Cohorts (NFBC) were initiated in the 1960s by Professor Paula Rantakallio to examine risk factors involved in pre-term birth and intrauterine growth retardation, and the consequences of these early adverse outcomes on subsequent morbidity. Originally in 1966 when the older cohort (NFBC1966) was started it was named "North Finland premature birth study" or "Development study of children in Northern Finland". The younger cohort (NFBC1986) was begun in 1985 and was originally called as "The mother-child cohort study of morbidity and mortality during childhood with the special purpose of preventing mental and physical handicap". This pioneering prospective data collection now represent a flagship for life-course epidemiology at both national and international level.
NFBC includes two longitudinal and prospective birth cohorts of women and offspring collected at 20-year intervals from the same provinces of Oulu and Lapland: The NFBC1966 was set with an expected date of birth in 1966, comprising of 12,068 mothers and 12,231 children (prospective data collection from maternity cards since 16th gestational week on average), and the NFBC1986 with an expected date of birth between July, 1st 1985 and June, 30th 1986, comprising 9,362 mothers and 9,479 children (prospective data collection from 10th gestational week).
Last updated: 20.1.2017