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CoA Comparison of Manitoba CHILD participants and the general Manitoba population

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Low socioeconomic status (SES) is a risk factor for a broad array of health outcomes. Moreover, we sought to describe the socio-environmental status of participants in the vanguard and cohort of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study and compare these participants' characteristics to similar characteristics of the general Manitoba population.

Materials and methods

Nation-wide CHILD plans to recruit pregnant women at 4 Canadian sites including Winnipeg where 1000 participants will be recruited over the next two years. Participants (including those in the 'vanguard', pilot group) completed questionnaires about their health, environment and SES. These data were described using descriptive and x2 analyses. General Manitoba population data were obtained from Statistics Canada and Manitoba Health and Healthy Living.


To date, 100 women (52 vanguard) have completed questionnaires. Participants were 30.8 ± 4.3 years old; this is similar to the average maternal age (29.7 years) at delivery for the general Manitoba population. Post-secondary training was higher amongst CHILD participants than the general Manitoba population (81.1% vs. 38.8% college/undergraduate and 14.9% vs. 5.1% graduate degrees, respectively). Using Statistics Canada's income adequacy quartiles, the majority of CHILD participants were from upper middle class families. Notably, vanguard participants were more likely to own their own homes than cohort participants (93.8% vs. 71.4%; p < 0.015). Vanguard participants were also more likely to rate their social standing as higher as compared to cohort participants (96.6% vs. 38.5%; p < 0.001). In Manitoba, 1 in 5 women smoke. In CHILD, 8.8% of women currently smoke.


Compared to the general Manitoba population, CHILD participants are of higher SES and are less likely to smoke, however more recent CHILD cohort participants represent a slightly broader demographic than vanguard participants. Continued efforts to recruit pregnant women from a broad demographic will provide the CHILD study with a nationally representative study population, which will serve to better understand genetic and environmental influences on early life development. This will be of importance to the AllerGen-supported CHILD study.

Author information

Correspondence to Jing C Luo.

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  • Pregnant Woman
  • Graduate Degree
  • Social Standing
  • Class Family
  • Middle Class Family