Cohort profile: The Growing up Healthy Study (GUHS)—A prospective and observational cohort study investigating the long-term health outcomes of offspring conceived after assisted reproductive technologies
School of Medical and Health Sciences
National Health and Medical Research Council
NHMRC Number : 1042269
Worldwide, over 8 million children and adults are conceived following assisted reproductive technologies (ART), and their long-term health is of consequential public health interest. The objective of this paper is to describe the Growing up Healthy Study (GUHS) cohort in detail, publicise it and invite collaboration. Combining the data collected in the GUHS with other cohorts or databases will improve the much-needed knowledge about the effects of ART, and allow for better understanding of the long-term health outcomes of offspring conceived after ART. The GUHS cohort is a prospective observational study of adolescents and young adults conceived after assisted reproductive technologies (ART). It was established to determine if the long-term health of offspring conceived by ART differs from that of the general population. This was investigated by comparing a substantial number of health parameters to those of a representative population of offspring conceived without ART. The n = 303 GUHS participants were born between 1991–2001 in the two fertility clinics operating at the time in Perth, Western Australia, and undertook assessments at ages 14, 17 and 20, replicating the pre-defined study protocols from the reference cohort—the Raine Study. Participants were comprehensively phenotyped through detailed questionnaires, anthropometry, biochemical analyses, as well as age-specific assessments (asthma, atopy, cardiometabolic health, body composition, mental health, thyroid function, epigenetics and vision). To date the GUHS cohort has been used to study the methylation, cardiometabolic, and thyroid profiles, as well as respiratory and mental health. To summarise, the GUHS cohort provides a valuable addition to the limited knowledge of the long-term health outcomes of ART-conceived offspring.
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