The Mothers and Children's Environmental Health (MOCEH) study

Byung Mi Kim, Mina Ha, Hye Sook Park, Bo Eun Lee, Young Ju Kim, Yun Chul Hong, Yangho Kim, Namsoo Chang, Young Man Roh, Boong Nnyun Kim, Se Young Oh, Eun Hee Ha

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96 Scopus citations


The MOCEH study is a prospective hospital- and community-based cohort study designed to collect information related to environmental exposures (chemical, biological, nutritional, physical, and psychosocial) during pregnancy and childhood and to examine how exposure to environmental pollutants affects growth, development, and disease. The MOCEH network includes one coordinating center, four local centers responsible for recruiting pregnant women, and four evaluation centers (a nutrition center, bio-repository center, neurocognitive development center, and environment assessment center). At the local centers, trained nurses interview the participants to gather information regarding their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, complications related to the current gestation period, health behaviors and environmental factors. These centers also collect samples of blood, placenta, urine, and breast milk. Environmental hygienists measure each participant's level of exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants during the pre- and postnatal periods. The participants are followed up through delivery and until the child is 5 years of age. The MOCEH study plans to recruit 1,500 pregnant women between 2006 and 2010 and to perform follow-up studies on their children. We expect this study to provide evidence to support the hypothesis that the gestational environment has an effect on the development of diseases during adulthood. We also expect the study results to enable evaluation of latency and age-specific susceptibility to exposure to hazardous environmental pollutants, evaluation of growth retardation focused on environmental and genetic risk factors, selection of target environmental diseases in children, development of an environmental health index, and establishment of a national policy for improving the health of pregnant women and their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-583
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgement This study was supported by the Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea.


  • Child development
  • Cohort study
  • Design
  • Prenatal exposures


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