University of Oulu

Pinot de Moira, A., Haakma, S., Strandberg-Larsen, K. et al. The EU Child Cohort Network’s core data: establishing a set of findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR) variables. Eur J Epidemiol 36, 565–580 (2021).

The EU Child Cohort Network’s core data : establishing a set of findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR) variables

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Author: Pinot de Moira, Angela1; Haakma, Sido2; Strandberg-Larsen, Katrine1;
Organizations: 1Univ Copenhagen, Epidemiol Sect, Dept Publ Hlth, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2Univ Groningen, Univ Med Ctr Groningen, Genom Coordinat Ctr, Groningen, Netherlands.
3Univ Med Ctr Rotterdam, Dept Pediat, Erasmus MC, POB 2040, NL-3000 CA Rotterdam, Netherlands.
4Univ Med Ctr Rotterdam, Generat R Study Grp, Erasmus MC, POB 2040, NL-3000 CA Rotterdam, Netherlands.
5Univ Bristol Sch Med, Populat Hlth Sci, Bristol BS8 2BN, Avon, England.
6Univ Bristol, MRC Integrat Epidemiol Unit, Bristol BS8 2PS, Avon, England.
7Univ Groningen, Univ Med Ctr Groningen, Dept Epidemiol, Groningen, Netherlands.
8Univ Southampton, Southampton Gen Hosp, MRC Lifecourse Epidemiol Unit, Southampton, Hants, England.
9NIHR Appl Res Collaborat Wessex, Southampton Sci Pk,Innovat Ctr,2 Venture Rd, Southampton SO16 7NP, Hants, England.
10Univ Helsinki, Dept Gen Practice & Primary Hlth Care, Helsinki, Finland.
11Helsinki Univ Hosp, Helsinki, Finland.
12Folkhalsan Res Ctr, Helsinki, Finland.
13Natl Univ Singapore, Yong Loo Lin Sch Med, Obstet & Gynecol, Singapore, Singapore.
14Natl Univ Hlth Syst, Singapore, Singapore.
15ASTAR, Singapore Inst Clin Sci SICS, Singapore, Singapore.
16ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain.
17Univ Pompeu Fabra UPF, Barcelona, Spain.
18CIBER Epidemiol & Salud Publ CIBERESP, Barcelona, Spain.
19Telethon Kids Inst, Perth, WA, Australia.
20Curtin Univ, Sch Physiotherapy & Exercise Sci, Perth, WA, Australia.
21Univ Paris, Ctr Res Epidemiol & Stat CRESS, INSERM, INRAE, Paris, France.
22LMU Univ Hosp Munich, Div Metab & Nutr Med, Dept Pediat, Dr von Hauner Childrens Hosp, Munich, Germany.
23Univ Oulu, Ctr Life Course Hlth Res, Fac Med, POB 5000, Oulu 90014, Finland.
24Imperial Coll London, Sch Publ Hlth, Dept Epidemiol & Biostat, London, England.
25Univ Helsinki, Clinicum, Fac Med, Helsinki, Finland.
26Norwegian Inst Publ Hlth, Dept Genet & Bioinformat, Div Hlth Data & Digitalisat, Oslo, Norway.
27Univ Turin, Dept Med Sci, Canc Epidemiol Unit, Turin, Italy.
28Univ Crete, Dept Social Med, Fac Med, Iraklion, Crete, Greece.
29Bradford Teaching Hosp NHS Fdn Trust, Bradford Inst Hlth Res, Bradford, W Yorkshire, England.
30French Blood Agcy, ELFE Joint Unit, French Inst Demog Studies Ined, French Inst Med Res & Hlth INSERM, Aubervilliers, France.
31Univ Southampton, NIHR Southampton Biomed Res Ctr, Southampton, Hants, England.
32Univ Hosp Southampton NHS Fdn Trust, Southampton, Hants, England.
33Univ Groningen, Univ Med Ctr Groningen, Dept Genet, Groningen, Netherlands.
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-06


The Horizon2020 LifeCycle Project is a cross-cohort collaboration which brings together data from multiple birth cohorts from across Europe and Australia to facilitate studies on the influence of early-life exposures on later health outcomes. A major product of this collaboration has been the establishment of a FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) data resource known as the EU Child Cohort Network. Here we focus on the EU Child Cohort Network’s core variables. These are a set of basic variables, derivable by the majority of participating cohorts and frequently used as covariates or exposures in lifecourse research. First, we describe the process by which the list of core variables was established. Second, we explain the protocol according to which these variables were harmonised in order to make them interoperable. Third, we describe the catalogue developed to ensure that the network’s data are findable and reusable. Finally, we describe the core data, including the proportion of variables harmonised by each cohort and the number of children for whom harmonised core data are available. EU Child Cohort Network data will be analysed using a federated analysis platform, removing the need to physically transfer data and thus making the data more accessible to researchers. The network will add value to participating cohorts by increasing statistical power and exposure heterogeneity, as well as facilitating cross-cohort comparisons, cross-validation and replication. Our aim is to motivate other cohorts to join the network and encourage the use of the EU Child Cohort Network by the wider research community.

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Series: European journal of epidemiology
ISSN: 0393-2990
ISSN-E: 1573-7284
ISSN-L: 0393-2990
Volume: 36
Issue: 5
Pages: 565 - 580
DOI: 10.1007/s10654-021-00733-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3141 Health care science
Funding: The LifeCycle project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement No. 733206 LifeCycle). All study specific acknowledgements and funding are presented in the supplementary material. This manuscript reflects only the author’s view and the Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
EU Grant Number: (733206) LIFECYCLE - Early-life stressors and LifeCycle health
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit