About the Study

Aboriginal people living in Canada are at high risk of developing type II diabetes and heart disease. Research suggests that fatness (a major risk factor for type II diabetes and heart diseases) may be programmed early in life and influenced by genetics, diet, and activity.

In the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) study, our primary goal is to determine the causes of fat gain among Aboriginal newborns and the growing offspring during the first three years of life. We will compare the percent body fat of the Aboriginal babies to that of Caucasian babies and South Asian babies. Also, we will engage pregnant women, new mothers, their healthcare providers, and grandmothers of the Six Nations community to learn about the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards the health of pregnant mothers and the care of newborns.

To date, there have not been any Aboriginal birth cohorts in Canada. Thus, to better understand the pre- and postnatal influences on the development of adiposity, related CVD risk factors, allergy, and asthma in Aboriginal people, we propose to recruit and follow prospectively Aboriginal pregnant mothers and their offspring from the Six Nations Reserve.

Primary Objectives

  1. Determine if there are differences in birth weight and adiposity between Aboriginal, White Caucasian, and South Asian newborns in Canada.
  2. Determine the major pre-pregnancy maternal factors and pregnancy factors that are associated with the newborn’s adiposity, cardiovascular risk factors at birth, allergy and asthma in the first three years of life.
  3. Determine the association between early feeding practices, sleep patterns, and activity on adiposity, related cardiovascular risk factors, allergy, and asthma at 1 and 3 years after birth.
  4. Determine the impact of the home environment, socio-economic status, health, and psychosocial stress factors of the mother and father & parent-child interaction, on the development of adiposity of the growing offspring in the first three years.
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