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Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC)

About the cohort

Start date:1991-1992

Age of recruitment: Children 0 Mothers 16-45

Sample size at recruitment: Children 14,062 Mothers 14,541

Estimated current sample size: Children 11,264 Mothers 11,264

Based at the University of Bristol, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), also known as Children of the 90s, is a world-leading birth cohort study. Between April 1991 and December 1992 more than 14,000 pregnant women were recruited into the study and these women (some of whom had two pregnancies or multiple births during the recruitment period), the children arising from the pregnancy, and their partners have been followed up over two decades.

The cohort has been followed intensively with annual questionnaires for the mothers, fathers and the children from age 5. A 10% sample of children were seen 10 times between 4 and 61 months for clinic assessment. Annual clinic assessment of the whole cohort was conducted from the age of 7 to 13 and 15 to 17. Assessment at age 24/25 is currently planned.

Record linkage has been completed for Education, Hospital Episode Statistics, Clinical Practice Research Datalink and Death notification and cancer cases.

1 million biological samples are held including maternal blood and urine, umbilical cord blood, placentas, paternal blood and saliva and children’s blood, saliva and urine.

The study has been extended to include grandparents, siblings, and children of the children and recruitment is underway.

With this wealth of data ALSPAC provides a rich resource for the study of the environmental and genetic factors that affect health and development.

ALSPAC is part of CLOSER (Cohort & Longitudinal Studies Enhancement Resources) which aims to maximise the use, value and impact of the UK’s longitudinal studies.

Core funders

  • Medical Research Council
  • Wellcome Trust

Contact details

Website: University of Bristol: ALSPAC

Principal Investigator: Professor George Davey-Smith


Children of the 90s
Oakfield House
Oakfield Grove

Data enquiries (including access): alspac-data@bristol.ac.uk

Media enquiries: media@childrenofthe90s.ac.uk

Lab enquiries: alspac-lab@bristol.ac.uk

Research-related enquiries: alspac-exec@bristol.ac.uk

Booking enquiries (participants only): admin@childrenofthe90s.ac.uk

General enquiries (participants only): info@childrenofthe90s.ac.uk

Page last updated: 7 Jan 2015


  • Gender: Male, Female
  • Sample size: 10,000-19,999
  • Age: 0 to 9, 10 to 19, 20 to 39, 40 to 59, 60 to 100
  • Anthropometric: Height, Weight, Waist circumference, Hip circumference, Blood pressure
  • Physical: Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal, Hearing and vision, Reproductive
  • Psychological: Mental health, Cognitive function
  • Lifestyle: Smoking, Physical activity, Dietary habits, Alcohol
  • Socio-economic: Occupation, Finances, Family circumstances, Housing, Education, Ethnic group, Marital status, Social support
  • Biological samples: Blood, Urine, Saliva, Other