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The Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS)
(Also known as IDEFIX – IDentifying Early Factors In syndrome X)

One primary aim of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study is to assess how growth and environmental factors acting during the fetal period and childhood are related to health in adult life. Our particular focus has been to study the early life origins of cardiovascular disease and its risk factors. We are also focusing our research interest upon cognitive function, psychological and behavioral outcomes as well as aging-related processes.

The HBCS has been made possible by the unique child welfare and school healthcare system in Finland. We have been able to abstract data from birth records, child welfare clinic and school healthcare records. Data on growth, socioeconomic aspects and general health has been collected. This data has been linked with data obtained from national health care registers (e.g. Death register, Hospital discharge register) and with data from Statistics Finland. Information is available for over 20000 subjects born between 1924 and 1944. One essential part of the project has been a detailed clinical examination including over 2000 voluntary participants.

The Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS) was initiated as a collaborative project between National Public Health Institute (currently THL) and University of Southampton.

THL – The National Institute for Health and Welfare, University of Helsinki
Principal Investigator and contact person:
Johan Eriksson, firstname.lastname (at)

Key reference:
Early growth and coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes: findings from the Helsinki Birth
Cohort Study (HBCS). Eriksson JG. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Dec;94(6 Suppl):1799S-1802S