Sarphati Cohort

At the heart of Sarphati Amsterdam is the Sarphati Cohort, a dynamic cohort study in which data collection is linked to the infrastructure of Youth Health Care (JGZ) in Amsterdam. The Sarphati Cohort makes it possible to use some of the data exchanged between the parents of Amsterdam children and doctors and nurses for consultations at JGZ for scientific research. Innovative research designs will additionally be built into the Sarphati Cohort to study the effects of interventions. They will then form the basis for improving existing interventions or developing entirely new ones.

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What is a cohort study?

A cohort study follows individuals for a certain period of time and after a while their characteristics and behaviour as well as disorders they have developed are compared. This type of research makes it possible to obtain an understanding of the causes of certain disorders. The individuals who are tracked in the Sarphati Cohort are children who are under the care of Youth Health Care (JGZ)* in Amsterdam.

Their development will be closely tracked using standardized measurements until they are 18 years of age, i.e. through routine consultations provided by YHC. The inclusion of up to ~11,000 newborns each year gives the Sarphati Cohort its dynamic character After children turn 18 they are no longer under the care of JGZ and will leave the cohort.

How do we gather the data?

The Youth Health Care’s contact moments with all  Amsterdam children form the basis for data collection in the Sarphati Cohort. The Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD) gathers a wealth of data about the development of children in Amsterdam during these contact moments. Some of this information, especially about growth, nutrition, physical activity and sleep, is also registered for the Sarphati Cohort. To do so, this data must be systematically asked for and registered in a quantifiable manner. More data on the development and background of children will be collected outside of the JGZ consultations, i.e. through questionnaires. After informed parental consent is obtained the anonymised** data will be used for research into the causes of non-communicable diseases.

We expect the first research results to appear by the end of 2019.

Who is involved in the Sarphati Cohort?

Various institutions and departments are closely involved in the Sarphati Cohort:

  • Departments at the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD): Youth Health Care (JGZ), Epidemiology, Health Promotion and Care Innovation (EGZ) and the Public Health Laboratory f0r Medical Microbiology (Streeklaboratorium) in Amsterdam
  • Departments at the Amsterdam Health Foundation (SAG): Youth Health Care (JGZ)
  • Knowledge institutions and hospitals: VU, VUmc, AMC, UvA, HvA, MC Slotervaart

Some of the research projects are funded entirely or partly by private parties.

*This is Youth Health Care in the Parent and Child Teams (OKT) provided by the Public Health Service of Amsterdam (GGD) and the Amsterdam Health Foundation (SAG)

**anonymised: cannot be traced. The data is given a code, which prevents it from being traced back to those who took part in the research. The participants remain anonymous.