Maternal and Infant Research Electronic Data Analysis (MIREDA): A protocol for creating a common data model for federated analysis of UK birth cohorts and the life course

Publication authors

MJ Seaborne, HE Jones, N Cockburn, S Durbaba, TC Giles, A González-Izquierdo, A Hough, D Mason, A Mendez-Villalon, C. Sanchez-Soriano, C. Orton, D Ford, P Quinlan, K Nirantharakumar, L. Poston, RM Reynolds, G Santorelli, S Brophy


Introduction Birth cohorts are valuable resources for studying early life, the determinants of health, disease, and development. They are essential for studying life course. Electronic cohorts are live, dynamic longitudinal cohorts using anonymised, routinely collected data. There is no selection bias through direct recruitment, but they are limited to health and administrative system data and may lack contextual information.

The MIREDA (Maternal and Infant Research Electronic Data Analysis) partnership creates a UK-wide birth cohort by aligning existing electronic birth cohorts to have the same structure, content, and vocabularies, enabling UK-wide federated analyses.


  1. Create a core dynamic, live UK-wide electronic birth cohort with approximately 100,000 new births per year using a common data model (CDM).

  2. Provide data linkage and automation for long-term follow up of births from MuM-PreDiCT and the ‘Born in’ initiatives of Bradford, Wales, Scotland, and South London for comparable analyses.

Methods We will establish core data content and collate linkable data. Use a suite of extraction, transformation, and load (ETL) tools will be used to transform the data for each birth cohort into the CDM. Transformed datasets will remain within each cohort’s trusted research environment (TRE). Metadata will be uploaded for the public to the Health Data Research (HDRUK) Innovation Gateway. We will develop a single online data access request for researchers. A cohort profile will be developed for researchers to reference the resource.

Ethics Each cohort has approval from their TRE through compliance with their project application processes and information governance.

Dissemination We will engage with researchers in the field to promote our resource through partnership networking, publication, research collaborations, conferences, social media, and marketing communications strategies.