The mutaba’ah Study: a cohort profile of the largest mother and child prospective cohort study in the United Arab Emirates

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Background and Objectives: The effect of early-life exposures on health and development in childhood and adulthood is well established. The lack of cohort studies on maternal and child health in the United Arab Emirates led to the conception of the Mutaba’ah Study. The study aims to secure epidemiological data on maternal and child health from pregnancy until the child reaches 18 years to investigate the mother’s health and maternal outcomes and the maternal and early-life determinants of infant, child and adolescent health. Methods: The Mutaba’ah (meaning follow-up in Arabic) Study is a large ongoing prospective mother and child cohort study in Al Ain city, targeting to recruit 17,000 mother and baby pairs. Recruitment started in 2017. Participants are recruited from major hospitals in Al Ain and include pregnant women from the Emirati population aged e18 years, preferably in the first trimester, able to provide informed consent, and their offspring. Data is collected via questionnaires and medical records at various time points. Results: To date, more than 13,000 participants aged 18-54 years have been recruited, reflecting a response rate of 87.0%. The average maternal age was 31 years, and around 29% were primiparous, unemployed (67.4%), had higher than secondary education (53%), and perceived they had sufficient social support (91%). Most initiated antenatal care late in pregnancy (54%) and were worried about birth (65%). The majority had not taken vitamin D (78%), folate (77%) or iron (85%) prenatally. One-third were found to be exposed to passive smoking (34%), whereas nearly one-third of the multigravida women had a history of gestational diabetes (30%). Conclusion: The Mutaba’ah Study is establishing a valuable and rich scientific database to provide research-based evidence on the factors affecting maternal health during pregnancy and childbirth and their implications and other early-life exposures on children’s future growth, development, and health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353
Number of pages1
JournalPopulation Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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