Children of the 90s welcomes its 2,000th dad
4 March 2013
ALSPAC, the Children of the 90s study, has welcomed the 2,000th father through its doors
On Thursday 28 February, Children of the 90s study welcomed the 2,000th father through its doors.
For the past 18 months hundreds of fathers have been visiting the University’s Children of the 90s study, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), to take part in the world-renowned project that their child has been involved with since their birth in the early 1990s.
The 2,000th father, who is 51 and now lives in Oxfordshire, said: ‘Even though we moved away from Bristol two weeks after the birth of our first daughter, we’ve always thought that Children of the 90s was really important so we’ve been happy to keep in touch and stay involved.’
Professor George Davey Smith, scientific director of the study, added:‘We are delighted that 2,000 fathers have come to see us. The information they have given us is invaluable because every individual is unique and together all the fathers are helping us build up a comprehensive picture of a family’s health and see why some people get ill and others don’t. What we discover helps inform public and healthcare policy and can make a very real difference to treating and preventing ill health.’
The 2,000 fathers have each answered dozens of questions and taken part in a series of tests, including giving blood to check their cholesterol and blood-sugar levels and having:
- a ‘DEXA’ scan to measure their bones, muscles and fat tissues
- an ultrasound scan of the arteries in their neck
- their face shape recorded
- their weight, height, waist, arm and hip measured
- their pulse and blood pressure measured
Children of the 90s now includes the whole family (more than 100 children of the original Children of the 90s now take part too) so the involvement of fathers is really important to its work. New scientific and genetic advances mean that, by comparing the health of the mother, father and child, scientists can build up a complete picture of a family’s health and see how certain conditions are passed from one generation to the next.
Children of the 90s researchers are also looking at key aspects of the father’s own health. How, for example, family relationships affect his health, whether he’s more likely to be fit and active if his partner is too or whether various heart-risk factors are associated with family dynamics over and above other behaviours such as smoking.Fathers (including stepfathers) of children who were born in the former county of Avon between April 1991 and December 1992 who would like to check if they are eligible to take part should call 0117 331 0010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.