With the levels of infant ill health and mortality higher in Bradford than the national average, the Born in Bradford study is all the more pertinent. Professor Neil Small from the University, in collaboration with Leeds University, York University, Bradford Royal Infirmary, and the Bradford and Airedale Primary Care Trust, follow the development of 13,400 babies in Bradford in a long-term population cohort study.
With the recruitment period from May 2007 and December 2010, the study follows almost all of the babies born in Bradford Royal Infirmary within this time frame. The study period starts in the third trimester of pregnancy, and follows the health and development of the child for approximately the next 15 years. The study will follow the routine medical records of each infant, including GP visits, vaccines, hospital admittances, and any illnesses.
With such a large study group, it is possible to make accurate analyses that are relevant on a local level. This will help to address the disparities in infant health in Bradford, looking closely at social class and ethnic background. Policy influence is the main goal of the research, in order to narrow the gap in healthcare between different demographic groups.
Professor Small said:
“We hope the study will begin to make a difference to children as they grow up in Bradford. By communicating with similar studies around the world, we can identify possible causes for rare illnesses. We can then address the problem, and intervene.”
The event at the British Science Festival will take place at the Town Hall in Centenary Square. Members of the cohort, as well as the general public, are invited to come and see photos, videos, and poems from the study. Early findings and updates on the research will also be shared throughout the drop-in sessions.