Birth Cohorts in Israel

image of doctor measuring baby's head
There is a growing awareness of the long-term health effects of intrauterine and early life exposures to environmental pollutants, and their role as contributing factors to the development of illness and disease later in life. Because of the lag that often exists between the time of exposure to environmental pollutants and the emergence of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, impaired neuro-cognitive development, diabetes and fertility problems later in life, ecological studies in epidemiology can provide only weak evidence of causality. Birth cohort studies, which examine environmental exposures and health outcomes over time, have become a vital tool in providing stronger evidence of causal relationships. This evidence can then support   policy interventions to reduce the exposures and improve public health.

Over the years, the Environment and Health Fund has supported the establishment of several birth cohorts in Israel which are investigating the impact of environmental exposures. This support has provided the infrastructure for long-term monitoring, collection and storage of information and samples, and the examination of the relationship between chronic diseases and environmental exposures in Israel.


Cohort NameFirst enrollmentStatusLocationPrincipal investigatorEnvinromental pollutants measuredContact (email)
Environment and Health Fund – Ichilov - Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) (EHF-AHI) Cohort2013Children follow-upAssaf Harofeh Medical Center / Soraski Medical CenterProf. Mati Berkovitch/ Prof. Dror MendelPBDEs, PCBs, Phthalates (planned)
Environment, Mother and Child Cohort2013Children follow-upHadassah Medical CenterProf. Ronit Calderon MargalitPhthalates, Organophosphates,
Twins Cohort- Sheba MC2015CompletedSheba Medical CenterDr. Ronit MachtingerPhthalates, Phenols and alternatives, Parabens, Triclosan,
IVF Cohort- Gertner Institute2015CompletedAssaf Harofeh Medical CenterProf. Liat LernerOrganophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs)
Rambam - Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) (AHR) Cohort2016EnrollingRambam Medical Center / Assaf Harofeh Medical CenterProf. Mati Berkovitch/ Prof. Ido Solt/ Prof. Amalia LevyHeavy metals,
Negev Pregnancy Cohort (NPC)2017Enrollment completedBen Gurion UniversityDr. Tamar WainstockOrganophosphates, Heavy
Haifa Pregnancy Cohort - Maccabi HS2019EnrollingHaifa districtDr. Hagai LevineHeavy metals, BTEX, Cotinine, PAHs (planned)