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Participants gave us a huge amount of detailed information at recruitment (from 2007-2010); also at the recruitment stage mothers gave us consent to access information from their and their children’s medical records and their children’s education records. A quarter of a million blood and urine samples taken at recruitment are kept in a bio bank in huge freezers.
Since recruitment finished at the end of 2010 we have collected many more bio samples, height, weight and skinfold measurements and, via many questionnaires, more information from all those families involved in sub studies. Born in Bradford families have worked with us in their homes, in the clinical research facility, in playgrounds, in schools and in children’s centres. This means that we now have a huge database of information about the health and wellbeing of people in Bradford across the course of their lives.
We store all this information anonymously for researchers to use as far into the future as possible, which may be tens, or even hundreds, of years. This will give researchers huge resources to work with to make new discoveries. All the research projects we undertake are about understanding causes of ill health and benefitting society by making positive changes to health systems and to health advice.
The science behind the Born in Bradford cohort study is called epidemiology: exploring patterns of health and illness and what causes them. Our role is to observe, not to influence, so we give very little feedback to individual participants. By finding out what increases the risks of certain diseases, we can help the whole community to reduce those risks in the future.