The College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the United Arab Emirates University revealed that the data of more than 8,000 pregnant Emirati women were collected as part of a “follow-up” study, which is the first of its kind at the state level, on mother and child health, noting that the study relied on collecting and analyzing data, respectively. From pregnancy until the child reaches 16 years of age.
The follow-up study aims to establish a pioneering platform for maternal and child health research in the UAE, by providing an inventory of data that will enable researchers to study and link the different health outcomes of mothers and children with a set of factors that mothers and children are exposed to in the early stages of life.
The platform will provide new, research-based, local evidence about the risks and expectations related to maternal and child health, helping to develop policies and programs to improve health and services for mothers and children in the country.
The associate professor at the Institute of Public Health at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, the principal investigator of the study, Dr. Luay Awad Ahmed, told «Emirates Today», that the study aims to provide data on the health of mother and child and examine the factors that affect them in the prenatal stages, in addition to Tracking the health of infants, children and adolescents in the future, indicating that the recruitment of participants began in October 2017, and the study succeeded in attracting nearly 8,000 participants, as of last November.
He explained that these data will enable research of influencing factors and practices and health outcomes, including lifestyle, behavioral, environmental, social, economic and demographic factors, as well as other cases, including overweight of the mother, diabetes during pregnancy, premature labor, preeclampsia, and cesarean delivery.
Additional areas of research
The follow-up study includes additional areas of research such as birth complications, birth weight, birth defects, breastfeeding, infant growth, childhood obesity, asthma, diabetes, as well as injuries, cognitive functions, and mental health.
“The study tracks the health of infants, children and adolescents into the future.”