The study is jointly supported by the Comprehensive Clinical Research Network and is one of the country's biggest research projects. Around 14,000 children born in the city are taking part.
The aim of the study is to understand why so many families are affected by illness in Bradford; home to some of the most deprived communities in the UK. Between 1996 and 2003, the number of children dying in Bradford before their first birthday was almost double the average for England and Wales. Levels of childhood illness are also higher, along with much higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, asthma and eczema in the city's population as a whole.
The study is looking at every aspect of a child's development to try to get an idea of how factors like environment, education, diet, ethnicity and genes interact together to affect our health. Each child’s progress will be followed over the coming years and will hopefully provide some clues about the illnesses that affect us as adults.
Professor John Wright is leading the study. He is quoted by the BBC:
"Bradford's got some major health problems. We have some of the highest infant mortality rates in the country, we have high levels of childhood asthma, childhood obesity, and we have a diabetes epidemic that is happening in this city as we talk. So what we wanted to do was to set up a study to understand what the causes of this were and in particular the early origins of these diseases, as they track through to adulthood.”
Since March 2007, every pregnant woman who attended the Royal Bradford Infirmary has been asked to take part and almost nine out of 10 have agreed.