what is Lifelines NEXT?
To date, only a few prospective birth cohorts with extended data are available to study intrinsic and external determinants for healthy development and chronic disease susceptibility in early childhood. None of these cohort studies include comprehensive analysis of immunological and microbiome data at birth, despite the fact that the importance of both immune status and microbiome for development of diseases has been established in multiple human cross-sectional studies and in animal models. It is becoming increasingly clear that insights into factors determining prenatal and postnatal development of newborns requires comprehensive analysis of both the pregnant women and the newborns over time. To study the determinants for healthy development in early life there is a need for a cohort which not only allows to follow extensively the mothers’ and newborns’ microbiome, immunological and metabolic development longitudinally but to also study the influence of environmental, (epi)genomic and social factors on early life development, together with phenotypic markers of healthy ageing or chronic disease.
The UMCG departments of genetics, obstetrics, laboratory medicine & pediatrics and community & occupational health medicine join forces to establish this comprehensive birth cohort in collaboration with the Lifelines cohort study.