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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910On-line version ISSN 1518-8787


ARAUJO, Waleska Regina Machado et al. Brazilian cohorts with potential for life-course studies: a scoping review. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2020, vol.54, 48.  Epub May 20, 2020. ISSN 1518-8787.


To identify the Brazilian cohorts that started either in the prenatal period or at birth, to describe their characteristics and the explored variables, and to map the cohorts with potential for studies on early determinants on health and the risk of falling ill on later stages of the life cycle.


A scoping review was carried out. The articles were searched in the electronic databases PubMed and Virtual Health Library (VHL). The descriptors used were [(((“Child” OR “Child, Preschool” OR “Infant” OR “Infant, Newborn”) AND (Cohort Studies” OR “Longitudinal Studies”)) AND “Brazil”)]. The inclusion criteria were Brazilian cohorts that started the baseline in the prenatal period or at birth and with at least two follow-ups with the participants. In order to meet the concept of LCE, we excluded those cohorts whose follow-ups were restricted to the first year of life, as well as those that did not address biological, behavioral and psychosocial aspects, and cohorts with data collection of a single stage of the life cycle.


The search step identified 5,010 articles. Eighteen cohorts were selected for descriptive synthesis. The median number of baseline participants was 2,000 individuals and the median age at the last follow-up was 9 years. Sample loss at the last follow-up ranged from 9.2 to 87.5%. Most cohorts monitored two phases of the life cycle (the perinatal period and childhood). The Southern region had the highest number of cohorts. The main variables collected were sociodemographic and environmental aspects of the family, morbidity aspects, nutritional practices and lifestyle.


We recommend the continuity of these cohorts, the approach to different social contexts and the performance of follow-ups with participants in different phases of the life cycle for the strengthening and expansion of life course epidemiology analyses in Brazil.

Keywords : Cohort studies; Child development; Health development; Analytical Epidemiology; Bibliometrics; Systematic Review.

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