What is MoBa?
- The Norwegian mother, father and child survey (MoBa) started recruitment of pregnant women in 1999.
- Fathers were also invited.
- MoBa is now 20 years old.
- 114,500 children, 95,000 mothers and 75,000 fathers participate. It makes it one of the world's largest population studies.
The shorthand version "MoBa" remains the same, because it is well known both nationally and internationally.
The main goal of The Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study is to find the causes of diseases and gain more knowledge about health. In pregnancy, MoBa researchers concentrated on maternal health, and in the early days thereafter, the child's health was important.
MoBa’s project manager, Per Magnus, explains the reasoning behind the name change:
“In order to track down the causes of diseases, the mother's, father's and child's genes, as well as environmental factors, are all important. Besides, fathers have been a part of the study ever since the mother was pregnant with their child.”
Fathers affect children's health
Children inherit half of their genes from their father, and fathers are important for the environment around the child. In addition, his own health is important. For example, the father's lifestyle before the child's conception can affect the child's health later in life.
Per Magnus is in no doubt that it was a good decision to change the name:
“Including father in our name is a milestone for MoBa. We greatly appreciate the fathers' participation, because it gives us greater opportunities to find causes of disease.”
World class research
The majority of international health studies starting in pregnancy or right after birth do not include the father.
“The fact that we can manage and utilize the questionnaire data that the father has filled in, and can analyze the blood sample that he gave upon recruitment, means that we have a larger database than other corresponding studies. This makes MoBa research even more valuable,” says Magnus.
MoBa is planning several new research projects on the health of mother, father and child in the years to come.
“We hope the participants stay with us for many more years. In this way, we can look at how health and disease develops over time, and the effects of genes and environmental factors over generations,” says Per Magnus.