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Working Group 1: Infant Lung Development

Head: by Prof. John W. Holloway, Professor of Allergy and Respiratory Genetics, University of Southampton, UK.

This working group is a central part of this Action, since results from this WG are integrated into the other WGs. It takes advantage of the availability of several large and extensively phenotyped population based patient cohorts and birth cohorts with longitudinal follow-up on respiratory outcomes. These will are used to assess the interaction of (epi)genetic and environmental determinants both on trajectories of lung growth and for CLD. This will allow to define indicators of foetal development in relation to later risk, i.e. to what extent markers of foetal growth, specific maternal nutrient status etc. inform about the likely pulmonary outcomes in offspring.

Current activities of WG1 include:

  1. Census of existing birth cohorts with both early life exposure data and respiratory outcomes. Expert assessment of existing cohorts with infant lung function data to establish the validity of pooling data between cohorts.
  2. Meta analysis of relationship between anthropometric measures at birth and adult lung function and lung function decline. While observations have been previously made in individual cohorts regarding the relationship between foetal growth and respiratory outcomes in adult life, the evidence based will be strengthened by combining analyses across cohorts. Furthermore, this also allows the investigation of pre- and early post-natal risk factors for poor adult lung function
  3. Meta analysis of the effect of SNPs identified in genome-wide studies of adult lung function on their association with infant lung function measurements. 
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