„Croatian Islands’ Birth Cohort Study (CRIBS) “

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, with a major impact on population health and high treatment costs. Its prevalence is more than 30% in the general population of Croatia, with a particularly high rate on the Croatian islands, up to 58%. The specific characteristics of the eastern Adriatic islands (genetic isolates with a high level of consanguinity, with a mixture of traditional and transitional lifestyles and constant depopulation processes) represent the basis for the development of patterns of risk factors that influence the occurrence of MetS. This project was a pilot study that lasted from 2015 to 2018 and whose goals were: to assess the prevalence of known risk factors (biological, environmental and behavioral) for the development of MetS in the target Croatian populations of the eastern Adriatic islands and the neighboring mainland area and to use the obtained results as a basis for developing an intervention strategy. Population cohort studies of pregnant women and newborns are particularly suitable for the study of early determinants of health and disease, which occur in the fetal period and childhood. A longitudinal research approach was applied to a sample of 502 mother-child pairs in the populations of the islands of Brač and Hvar and in the city of Split. The project aimed to determine important risk factors for the development of MetS in the investigated Croatian populations, which would enable the development of an effective intervention strategy in the long term. The knowledge and experience gained on the basis of the conducted research will contribute to the creation of more effective health promotion programs, taking into account the established local sociocultural and environmental specificities.

The project ” Croatian Islands’ Birth Cohort Study (CRIBS)” was financed by the Croatian Science Foundation (UIP-2014-09-6598) for a period of three years (November 1, 2015 – October 31, 2018), and was carried out and co-financed by the Institute for Anthropologyical Research (Zagreb) in cooperation with the Split Clinical Hospital Center. The research itself was conducted in the Split Clinical Hospital Center (Split) and gynecological and pediatric offices in Split and on the islands of Hvar and Brač.

This research was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Institute for Anthropologyical Research after a thorough analysis of the submitted research proposal and accompanying documentation. The research was conducted in accordance with the guidelines aimed at ensuring the proper conduct of the research and the safety of the persons participating in it, including the “Basics of Good Clinical Practice” and the “Declaration of Helsinki”.