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Republished paper: Determinants of child health and development: the contribution of ALSPAC—a personal view of the birth cohort study
  1. Jean Golding
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jean Golding, Centre for Child and Adolescent Health, Barley House, Oakfield Grove, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2BN, UK; jean.golding{at}


Britain has a unique experience of national longitudinal birth cohorts, but the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children differed in two major respects—it was based in one area rather than being a national sample, and it started in pregnancy rather than at birth or later in the first year. This paper outlines a personal selection of 10 topics, highlighting results from some of the 400+ papers that have already been published from this study. It indicates in particular how many childcare and domestic fashions were neither of benefit to the children (or their parents), the importance of pregnancy in regard to childhood conditions and the likely dangers of some common chemicals, whether in medications or domestic products.

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the ALSPAC Ethics and Law Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent Obtained.