Cohort profile: The maternal-infant research on environmental chemicals research platform

Tye E. Arbuckle, William D. Fraser, Mandy Fisher, Karelyn Davis, Chun Lei Liang, Nicole Lupien, Stéphanie Bastien, Maria P. Velez, Peter Von Dadelszen, Denise G. Hemmings, Jingwei Wang, Michael Helewa, Shayne Taback, Mathew Sermer, Warren Foster, Greg Ross, Paul Fredette, Graeme Smith, Mark Walker, Roberta ShearLinda Dodds, Adrienne S. Ettinger, Jean Philippe Weber, Monique D'Amour, Melissa Legrand, Premkumari Kumarathasan, Renaud Vincent, Zhong Cheng Luo, Robert W. Platt, Grant Mitchell, Nick Hidiroglou, Kevin Cockell, Maya Villeneuve, Dorothea F.K. Rawn, Robert Dabeka, Xu Liang Cao, Adam Becalski, Nimal Ratnayake, Genevieve Bondy, Xiaolei Jin, Zhongwen Wang, Sheryl Tittlemier, Pierre Julien, Denise Avard, Hope Weiler, Alain Leblanc, Gina Muckle, Michel Boivin, Ginette Dionne, Pierre Ayotte, Bruce Lanphear, Jean R. Séguin, Dave Saint-Amour, Éric Dewailly, Patricia Monnier, Gideon Koren, Emmanuel Ouellet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Background The Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) Study was established to obtain Canadian biomonitoring data for pregnant women and their infants, and to examine potential adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to priority environmental chemicals on pregnancy and infant health. Methods Women were recruited during the first trimester from 10 sites across Canada and were followed through delivery. Questionnaires were administered during pregnancy and post-delivery to collect information on demographics, occupation, life style, medical history, environmental exposures and diet. Information on the pregnancy and the infant was abstracted from medical charts. Maternal blood, urine, hair and breast milk, as well as cord blood and infant meconium, were collected and analysed for an extensive list of environmental biomarkers and nutrients. Additional biospecimens were stored in the study's Biobank. The MIREC Research Platform encompasses the main cohort study, the Biobank and follow-up studies. Results Of the 8716 women approached at early prenatal clinics, 5108 were eligible and 2001 agreed to participate (39%). MIREC participants tended to smoke less (5.9% vs. 10.5%), be older (mean 32.2 vs. 29.4 years) and have a higher education (62.3% vs. 35.1% with a university degree) than women giving birth in Canada. Conclusions The MIREC Study, while smaller in number of participants than several of the international cohort studies, has one of the most comprehensive datasets on prenatal exposure to multiple environmental chemicals. The biomonitoring data and biological specimen bank will make this research platform a significant resource for examining potential adverse health effects of prenatal exposure to environmental chemicals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalPaediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • biological markers
  • biomonitoring
  • environmental chemicals
  • pregnancy cohort study


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