Flagship Liverpool birth cohort study opens for recruitment

Liverpool City Region skyline

A major birth cohort study tracing the lives of 10,000 Liverpool families to enable researchers, clinicians and policymakers to understand more about complex health issues opens today (Tuesday 25th April).

Children Growing Up in Liverpool (C-GULL) is the first large scale birth cohort study in the Liverpool City Region, and will track 10,000 first born babies and their families from early in pregnancy through childhood and beyond.

Researchers will collect information on their biological, physical, and mental health, as well as the home environment and more. This innovative study will use the latest data collection methods to give a comprehensive picture of the early life origins of health and wellbeing. This information will be used to inform policies and practices that promote the health and well-being of families in Liverpool and beyond.

C-GULL is a partnership between the University of Liverpoolthe Wellcome TrustLiverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trustthe Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and Liverpool City Council. The study is delivered in collaboration with the NIHR Clinical Research Network North West Coast.

Kathryn Thompson, CEO of Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re thrilled to be a part of this important study that will benefit families in our community and beyond. C-GULL will provide valuable insights into the early life origins of health and wellbeing and help us create a better future for our children.”

Professor Louise Kenny, Lead Investigator, said: “C-GULL is an exciting opportunity to make a real impact on the health of future generations. By tracking families from pregnancy through childhood, we can gain a deeper understanding of the complex factors that shape health outcomes.”

Professor Tim Jones, Vice Chancellor of the University of Liverpool said: “C-GULL will be an important resource for health researchers locally, nationally and internationally for decades to come and the University of Liverpool is delighted and proud to partner in this pioneering study.”

C-GULL will be nested within a population-wide, civic data linkage platform. The study will collect extensive biological, biometric, socio-demographic and psychosocial information at two time points antenatally (12-16 weeks gestational age and 32-36 weeks gestational age), at birth, and when the child is aged three, 12 and 24 months.

Women are eligible to take part in the study if this is their first ongoing pregnancy, their pregnancy is in the first 12-16 weeks, they are aged 16 years and older and they have booked for their maternity care to be provided by Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

Parents who participate in C-GULL will receive additional health checks and support for themselves and their child during pregnancy and childhood.

Professor Enitan Carroll, Clinical Director, NIHR Clinical Research Network: North West Coast said: “Research from the Department of Public Health and Policy has highlighted an alarming rise in health inequalities and infant mortality across Liverpool City Region. We must act now to find a research solution to reverse this worrying trend. The NIHR Clinical Research Network: North West Coast is proud to provide support for an ambitious and collaborative study that will follow 10,000 children born in Liverpool, and bring together researchers and healthcare staff to understand how we can provide a healthier start for our children born in the city. C-GULL will allow future generations to realise their potential, free from the burden that health inequality brings.”

More information on C-GULL can be found here:  https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/children-growing-up-in-liverpool/

Participants and prospective participants can find more information here:  www.cgullstudy.com