Life-course Epidemiology

Rhea study

The Rhea study is a long-term study that examines the health of children born in Crete and aims to provide evidence regarding the origin of significant health problems. To achieve that, it follows up approximately 1300 children and their families in the prefecture of Heraklion since 2007. It is the only mother-child cohort in Greece. Many specialties have worked so far in the Rhea study and much collaboration with other research centers exist.

We have followed the pregnancy, the delivery and the first years of life of children and at this point we follow children at their school age (6 years). We have gathered a lot of information in order to build up an accurate picture of how lifestyle, environment and genes might influence children’s health. Analysis of these data, has given already important results. The aim is to follow our population up to adolescence or even young adulthood.

The main aims of the RHEA study are:

  • to characterize nutritional, environmental, and psychosocial determinants of children's growth and development,
  • to examine: i) growth and physical development; ii) behavioral, cognitive, and sociο-emotional development; iii) allergies and asthma in childhood; iv) genotoxicity,
  • to evaluate mother’s health during and after pregnancy,
  • to evaluate genetic susceptibility for common disorders in childhood and the interactions between genetic and environmental factors affecting child health.

Principal investigators

Leda Chatzi, PhD
Prof. Manolis Kogevinas

Interested researchers can contact one of the Rhea Principal Investigators, Leda Chatzi, PhD and prof. Manolis Kogevinas, with their questions or proposals. Alternatively, investigators interested in collaborating with Rhea or in using data, may complete the Collaborator's Request Form. The Rhea group reviews proposals and requests on a monthly basis and will respond as soon as possible.


Data from the Rhea study has been used in international and European collaborations over the years to study various scientific fields such as epidemiology, nutrition, child obesity, etc. The study evolves as the years pass and the rich data give many opportunities for research and new ideas to be developed.