Study Description

Study Design and Objectives

Longitudinal studies on health are an important source for current and future research. These studies aspire to provide a broad platform for scientific research that will last for generations. The “Mutaba’ah" Study, which falls under this category of research and is the first of its kind in the UAE, aims to recruit pregnant women and their children from the Emirati population and collect data from the time of pregnancy until the child turns 16 years old. The data will allow following up the health of the mother during the pregnancy, and the health of the children throughout their lives to examine how social, economic, genetic, environmental and behavioural factors interact and impact their future growth and development.

The “Mutaba’ah” Study aims to recruit 10,000 pregnant women from 2017 until 2021 from hospitals in Al Ain (the study has succeeded in recruiting nearly 7,000 participants up until November 2019). After consenting to participate in the study, data is collected through sequential questionnaires and from the medical records of the mothers and their babies after birth. Questionnaires are used to collect information which is not routinely available in medical records such as socio-economic and lifestyle factors and exposures from the surrounding environment. Additional information is also extracted from medical records such as anthropometric, physiological and laboratory measurements, reports of any medical interventions, pregnancy conditions and details of birth, perinatal circumstances and growth and development of the child.

The study will investigate factors affecting maternal health during pregnancy and childbirth such as the woman’s weight gain, gestational diabetes, anemia, her mental health, premature births and other issues of pregnancy. It will also investigate factors that may affect a mother before and during the pregnancy and during childbirth and study the impact of these factors on the child's future health, such as childhood obesity, diabetes, asthma, mental health and other health conditions that may affect future generations.

This study will contribute to:

  1. Inform the local, regional and international scientific community of the factors affecting maternal health during pregnancy and childbirth and their implications for the future health of children.
  2. Provide evidence-based scientific information to build on the efforts of physicians and public health policy makers to develop and improve health and social services for mothers and children in the UAE.
  3. Provide undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to participate in a unique study to develop their research skills.
  4. Establish a valuable and rich scientific database for researchers in the field of maternal and child health.