Cohort profile: Health trajectories of Immigrant Children (CRIAS)-a prospective cohort study in the metropolitan area of Lisbon, Portugal

Zélia Muggli, Thierry Mertens, Regina Amado, Ana Lúcia Teixeira, Dora Vaz, Melanie Pires, Helena Cristina Loureiro, I Fronteira, AB Abecasis, António Carlos Silva, MR Martins

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose The CRIAS (Health trajectories of Immigrant Children in Amadora) cohort study was created to explore whether children exposed to a migratory process experience different health risks over time, including physical health, cognitive, socioemotional and behavioural challenges and different healthcare utilisation patterns. Participants The original CRIAS was set up to include 604 children born in 2015, of whom 50% were immigrants, and their parents. Recruitment of 420 children took place between June 2019 and March 2020 at age 4/5 years, with follow-up carried out at age 5/6 years, at age 6/7 years currently under way. Findings to date Baseline data at age 4/5 years (2019-2020) suggested immigrant children to be more likely to belong to families with less income, compared with non-immigrant children. Being a first-generation immigrant child increased the odds of emotional and behavioural difficulties (adjusted OR 2.2; 95% CI: 1.06 to 4.76); more immigrant children required monitoring of items in the psychomotor development test (38.5% vs 28.3%). The prevalence of primary care utilisation was slightly higher among immigrant children (78.0% vs 73.8%), yet they received less health monitoring assessments for age 4 years. Utilisation of the hospital emergency department was higher among immigrants (53.2% vs 40.6%). Age 5 years follow-up (2020-2021) confirmed more immigrant children requiring monitoring of psychomotor development, compared with non-immigrant children (33.9% vs 21.6%). Economic inequalities exacerbated by post-COVID-19 pandemic confinement with parents of immigrant children 3.2 times more likely to have their household income decreased. Future plans Further follow-up will take place at 8, 10, 12/13 and 15 years of age. Funds awarded by the National Science Foundation will allow 900 more children from four other Lisbon area municipalities to be included in the cohort (cohort-sequential design).
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere061919
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2022


  • community child health
  • epidemiology
  • health policy
  • organisation of health services


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