Individual Study / START

South Asian Birth Cohort

South Asian Birth Cohort

START logo
Initiatives -
The specific study objectives are to determine: 1. If there are differences in birth weight and adiposity comparing South Asian to white Caucasian newborns in Ontario. 2. The antenatal maternal factors and pregnancy factors which are associated with the newborn’s adiposity at birth. 3. The association between early feeding practices on post-natal growth & adiposity at 1 and 3 years after birth. 4. The association between maternal micronutrient status & newborn’s adiposity and insulin resistance at birth and 3 years. 5. The relative contribution of selected candidate genes & epigenetic markers using DNA (and placenta) collected from mothers and newborns to adiposity at birth and adiposity accumulation in the growing offspring to 3 years.
Start Year
Some of the sponsors are McMaster University, CIHT IRSC, Population Health Research Institute, !ndigo


Investigators Contacts
  • Dr. Prof. Sonia Anandd
    McMaster University
  • Dipika Desai
    McMaster University


Study design
Population cohort
Follow Up
Pregnant mothers will be recruited during the first antenatal visit (between 24-27 weeks) and will undergo a brief health assessment including completion of a questionnaire, physical measurements (i.e. weight, height, waist and hip circumference, and blood pressure), oral glucose tolerance test, and a blood sample.After delivery, the mother-baby dyad will be followed at regular intervals of time via telephone and/or email as well as an annual in person visit for 3 years.

Marker Paper

Anand S.S., Vasudevan A., Gupta M., Morrison K., Kurpad A., Teo K.K., Srinivasan K., The START Cohort Study Investigators. 2013. Rationale and design of South Asian Birth Cohort (START): a Canada-India collaborative study. BMC Public Health; 13(1):79.

PUBMED 23356884


Sources of Recruitment
  • Families

Number of participants

Number of participants
Number of participants with biosamples
Supplementary Information
South Asian pregnant mothers and their babies from 3 hospitals in the Peel Region and an additional 500 pregnant mothers and their babies from an urban and a rural centre in India.


Availability of data and biosamples


Availability of access information

On the study website :