The Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study (BIGCS)


The Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study (BIGCS) is a large-scale prospective observational study investigating the role of social, biological and environmental influences on pregnancy and child health and development in an urban setting in southern China. Pregnant women who reside in Guangzhou and who attend Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center (GWCMC) for antenatal care in early pregnancy (<20 weeks’ gestation) are eligible for inclusion. Study recruitment commenced in February 2012, with an overall participation rate of 76.3%. Study recruitment will continue until December 2018 to achieve the target sample size of 30,000 mother–child pairs. At 30 April 2016, a total of 75,422 questionnaires have been collected, while 14,696 live births have occurred with planned follow-up of cohort children until age 18 years. During the same period a total of 1,053,000 biological samples have been collected from participants, including maternal, paternal and infant blood, cord blood, placenta, umbilical cord, and maternal and infant stool samples. The dataset has been enhanced by record linkage to routine health and administrative records. We plan future record linkage to school enrolment and national examination records.

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We are grateful to the pregnant women who have participated in BIGCS and all obstetric care providers who have assisted us in the implementation of the study. We especially want to thank Professor Charles Larson for useful comments on the project. BIGCS study is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81673181), the Guangzhou Science Technology and Innovation Commission (201508030037, 2014A020213022), and the Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology (2012J5100038).

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Correspondence to Kar Keung Cheng or Hui-Min Xia.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Xiu Qiu, Jin-Hua Lu and Jian-Rong He have contributed equally to this work.

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Qiu, X., Lu, J., He, J. et al. The Born in Guangzhou Cohort Study (BIGCS). Eur J Epidemiol 32, 337–346 (2017).

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  • Design
  • Cohort study
  • Child
  • Pregnancy
  • Record linkage