The period from conception until a person’s second birthday has proven to be crucial. Many early exposures, such as nutrition, can have a long-term effect on health and development. Yet the ‘How?’ in these effects is largely unknown. How does the gut microbiome develop in babies? What is its effect? What is the effect of breast milk?

To answer these questions, the Genetics department, together with the departments of Obstetrics, Paediatrics and Medical sciences, initiated the Lifelines NEXT cohort project. Lifelines NEXT is following 1,500 mother–baby pairs from pregnancy through the first year of life. Partners are invited to join the study as well. The longitudinal health data we collect will be linked to environmental factors, genetics, gut microbiome, breast milk composition and other important health parameters. Lifelines NEXT is a cohort in the making, and we are open for collaboration! 

Relevance

How our research benefits to society

Data collected and analysed in Lifelines NEXT will help define:

  • The role of environmental, maternal and host factors in gut ecosystem development and its relation to infant health.
  • The role of viruses and bacteriophages in the gut ecosystem and infant health.
  • The role of breastmilk in infant health. Lifelines NEXT participants will also enrol in Lifelines, thereby introducing the fourth generation of Lifelines participants.

For more information see www.lifelines.nl/next.

  • Lifelines NEXT is a population screening aimed at pregnant women, their partners and their children. To map the effect of all kinds of factors on health and disease in the first phase of life, we aim to intensively follow 1,500 women and their children for at least 1 year after birth. Partners are also invited to participate in Lifelines NEXT. We ask the mothers to donate biomaterials such as blood, faeces and breastmilk from themselves and their baby at various time points during and after pregnancy. We also ask whether the parents would like to answer questions about their health, lifestyle and other factors. By linking all these data, we aim to gain insights into the health and development of the child.

    The sampling program and research aims of Lifelines NEXT were laid out in its first scientific paper, which can be found at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7125065/.

Contact

Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen
Department of Genetics
T.a.v. Lifelines NEXT
HPC:CB50
Answer number 299
9700 VB Groningen
The Netherlands

Visiting Address
Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen
Department of Genetics
Lifelines NEXT
9700 VB Groningen
The Netherlands