First months of life

Weight, length and head circumference were routinely measured. Also anogenital distance, the distance from the anus to the genitalia, was assessed. Trained examiners visited families at homes and carried out all assessments.

Mothers were contacted by telephone, at 8-10 weeks after delivery, to provide information about symptoms of postpartum depression in the EPDS scale (Edinburg Postnatal Depression Syndrome scale).

Also at 9 months after birth, trained researchers contacted by telephone the parents to ask about child’s health (e.g. symptoms of eczema and wheeze), breastfeeding and feeding practices, child’s care, nursery attendance, housing conditions and environmental exposures.

2-years follow-up

Weight, height and head circumference were measured during the second year of life of children. Additionally, waist circumference and skinfold thickness at four sites of the body (subscapular, triceps, suprailiac and thigh) were measured in order to obtain better information for the body composition of the children at that age. In sub-projects at the same time, samples of urine, saliva and blood were collected.

The first neurodevelopment assessment was carried out, when children were around 18 months of age. Trained psychologists evaluated 612 children in terms of mental and psychomotor development using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (Bayley-III). The items of the test were administered hierarchically, from simple to more complex, in order to evaluate children’scognitive, language and motor skills. The social–emotional and adaptive domains were based on primary caregiver response to a questionnaire. Additionally, information regarding child’s care and hours parents spend with their child on a daily basis were collected.