Cohort Profile: The Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!)
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The Applied Research Group for Kids (TARGet Kids!) is an ongoing open longitudinal cohort study enrolling healthy children (from birth to 5 years of age) and following them into adolescence. The aim of the TARGet Kids! cohort is to link early life exposures to health problems including obesity, micronutrient deficiencies and developmental problems. The overarching goal is to improve the health of Canadians by optimizing growth and developmental trajectories through preventive interventions in early childhood. TARGet Kids!, the only child health research network embedded in primary care practices in Canada, leverages the unique relationship between children and families and their trusted primary care practitioners, with whom they have at least seven health supervision visits in the first 5 years of life. Children are enrolled during regularly scheduled well-child visits. To date, we have enrolled 5062 children. In addition to demographic information, we collect physical measurements (e.g. height, weight), lifestyle factors (nutrition, screen time and physical activity), child behaviour and developmental screening and a blood sample (providing measures of cardiometabolic, iron and vitamin D status, and trace metals). All data are collected at each well-child visit: twice a year until age 2 and every year until age 10. Information can be found at: http://www.targetkids.ca/contact-us/.
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