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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Jun;133(6):1535-46. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.01.018. Epub 2014 Mar 15.

Birth cohorts in asthma and allergic diseases: report of a NIAID/NHLBI/MeDALL joint workshop.

Author information

  • 1University Hospital, Montpellier and INSERM U1018, Villejuif, France. Electronic address:
  • 2University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wis.
  • 3Arizona Respiratory Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
  • 4Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) and IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) and CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Departament de Ciències Experimentals i de la Salut, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 5Department of Public Health Sciences, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Mich.
  • 6Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, and Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.
  • 7School of Paediatrics and Child Health, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.
  • 8Indiana University School of Medicine, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Ind.
  • 9Dr. von Hauner Children's Hospital of the University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
  • 10Clinical and Experimental Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, and the David Hide Asthma and Allergy Research Centre, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.
  • 11Washington University and St Louis Children's Hospital, St Louis, Mo.
  • 12Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
  • 13Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology, Yale School of Public Health, School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.
  • 14Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 15Division of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • 16Departments of Pediatrics, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, the University of California, San Francisco, Calif.
  • 17Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.
  • 18Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo.
  • 19Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, and Escuela de Biologia, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador.
  • 20Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School/Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, Boston, Mass.
  • 21Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health, Boston, Mass.
  • 22School of Social & Community Medicine, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom.
  • 23Helmholtz Zentrum, Muenchen, German Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology I, Munich, Germany.
  • 24Department of Pediatrics, Childhood Asthma Atopy Center, Research Center for Standardization of Allergic Diseases, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 25Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité-Universitaetsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, and Institute for Clinical Epidemiology and Biometry, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.
  • 26Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
  • 27Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
  • 28Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY.
  • 29Department of Public Health and Biostatistics, Paris Descartes University, Sorbonne, and Paris Municipal Department of Social Action, Childhood, and Health, Paris, France.
  • 30Department of Pediatrics, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.
  • 31Division of Lung Diseases, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
  • 32Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Ga.
  • 33Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) and IMIM (Hospital del Mar Research Institute) and CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain.
  • 34Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • 35Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
  • 36Department of Medicine, AstraZeneca Chair in Respiratory Epidemiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
  • 37Centre for Respiratory and Allergy, Institute of Inflammation and Repair, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester and University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
  • 38Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
  • 39Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • 40Division of Immunopathology, Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
  • 41Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md.
  • 42Harvard Medical School, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.
  • 43Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.
  • 44Arizona Respiratory Center and the Department of Pediatrics, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Ariz.
  • 45Department of Pediatrics and Mindich Child Health & Development Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.


Population-based birth cohorts on asthma and allergies increasingly provide new insights into the development and natural history of the diseases. More than 130 birth cohorts focusing on asthma and allergy have been initiated in the last 30 years. A National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy (MeDALL; Framework Programme 7 of the European Commission) joint workshop was held in Bethesda, Maryland, on September 11-12, 2012, with 3 objectives: (1) documenting the knowledge that asthma/allergy birth cohorts have provided, (2) identifying the knowledge gaps and inconsistencies, and (3) developing strategies for moving forward, including potential new study designs and the harmonization of existing asthma birth cohort data. The meeting was organized around the presentations of 5 distinct workgroups: (1) clinical phenotypes, (2) risk factors, (3) immune development of asthma and allergy, (4) pulmonary development, and (5) harmonization of existing birth cohorts. This article presents the workgroup reports and provides Web links ( or, where the reader will find tables describing the characteristics of the birth cohorts included in this report, the type of data collected at differing ages, and a selected bibliography provided by the participating birth cohorts.

Published by Mosby, Inc.


Allergy; Mechanisms of the Development of Allergy (MeDALL); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID); asthma; birth cohorts

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