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Welcome to the "Children of 1997" Birth Cohort Study!

We are a large, population-representative, Chinese birth cohort in Hong Kong,

based on all births in April and May 1997. Our birth cohort is the largest such study in Asia to date.

Hong Kong provides a novel setting for a birth cohort, because Hong Kong has all

the advantages of a modern post-industrial environment, with a high standard of

living, a stable population, universal access to health care and the infrastructure to support such a study. However, Hong Kong’s population has undergone an unusually recent and rapid economic/epidemiologic transition over the last 70 years, because the population of Hong Kong was largely formed by migration in the mid-20th century from essentially pre-industrial conditions in China. This setting provides a unique opportunity to examine the developmental origins of health in the context of the epidemiologic transition over only two or three generations. Much of developing Asia has since followed Hong Kong’s developmental trajectory. Insights from the “Children of 1997” birth cohort study may predict the future epidemiologic changes and inform public health responses in the rest of Asia.

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