NINFEA project

Study design

NINFEA is an internet-based multi-purpose mother-child cohort i set up to investigate the effects of exposures acting during pre-natal and early post-natal life on infant, child and adult health.

Members of the cohort are all babies born to women who:

  • have access to the internet,
  • have enough knowledge of the Italian language to complete the online questionnaires,
  • become aware of the study,
  • volunteer to participate.

Women are recruited during pregnancy. To participate they register at the study website and complete a baseline online questionnaire (Q1).

Participants complete three main online questionnaires :

  • during pregnancy (Q1),
  • 6 months after delivery (Q2),
  • 18 months after delivery (Q3).

The questionnaires include questions on the mother and/or the child on several exposures and some outcomes, including environmental exposures (passive smoking, traffic, residential history, maternal occupation and occupational exposures, noise, dampness), reproductive factors, medical history, anthropometrical measures, diet, supplements, health status, asthma, growth, etc.

Women are invited via email, telephone or mail to complete the Q2 and Q3 questionnaires.

Follow-up is conducted using both active and passive methods. Starting at age 4 of the child, specific outcomes are assessed via ad hoc short online questionnaires.

Currently the follow-up questionnaires are at 4, 7 and 10 years of the child. Passive follow-up involves linkage with available population registries, including the Hospital Inpatient Registry, the Birth Registry, the Cancer Registry, etc.


i A cohort study is an investigation in which a group of individuals (the cohort) is identified and prospectively followed over time to detect health related events.



Study protocol
Research protocol of the NINFEA project (v. 12/05/2023)