CHICOS is a project funded under the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).

The aim is to assess and prepare for robust health data for birth/mother-child cohorts over a substantial time period (the next 15 years) by evaluating data from existing cohorts, registers and relevant European databases, identifying gaps in knowledge, and developing recommendations for targeted research action at the European level.

Our focus is on the wider determinants of child health and how new knowledge from cohort studies can contribute to the best public health measures in terms of life-style, work and living circumstances.

We assess scientific evidence at the individual and community level (e.g. relating to socio-economic factors and cultural context, diet and physical activity, tobacco, alcohol and other substances, and environmental factors).

We also evaluate, whenever possible, the need to conduct targeted research in specific regions of Europe.


The conceptual relationship between mother-child cohort research and child health policy

The overall aim of the CHICOS action is to improve child health across Europe by developing an integrated strategy for mother-child cohort research in Europe. This will be achieved by coordinating the most important European mother-child cohorts.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To make an overview of birth and mother-child cohorts in Europe, including opportunities to link these cohorts to existing pan-European registries.
  2. To evaluate existing information on child health outcomes and determinants from cohorts; to evaluate links to routine registries; to identify gaps in knowledge; and to develop recommendations for research action at the European level for the next 15 years, focusing on key areas of policy concern.
  3. To review the extent to which mother-child cohorts and registries have contributed to current European child health policies and make recommendations to improve the contribution of mother-child cohort research to policy at the European level.
  4. To disseminate results of the project to stakeholders and to evaluate new technologies for cohort research dissemination.

Chicos facts

Project title

CHICOS: Developing a Child Cohort Research Strategy for Europe
A project conducted within the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme [Theme 1, Health]

Project Coordinator

Dr. Martine Vrijheid, PhD

Communication & Dissemination

Prof. Franco Merletti, MD

Project Manager

Dr. Diana van Gent, PhD