APrON (Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition) is a study involving thousands of women from Calgary and Edmonton, designed to analyze the relationship between maternal nutrient status during pregnancy and maternal mental health and child health and development.



Study name  Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition Study 
Study abbreviation  APrON Study
Current principal investigator/s  Nicole Letourneau, RN, PhD
Co-PIs: Deborah Dewey, PhD, R Psych; Catherine Field, PhD.
Current project manager  Andrea Deane
Cohort representative (study contact)  Andrea Deane
Postal address  Owerko Centre | Third Floor – CDC Building

c/o 2500 University Drive NW

Calgary, Alberta Canada

T2N 1N4

Phone  +1 (403) 441-8471
Primary Institution  University of Calgary and University of Alberta
Major funding sources  Alberta Innovates: Health Solutions (AIHS) (Previously Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research);

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR);

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC);

National Institutes of Health (NIH);

Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation

Study website
Key reference

 Kaplan, B. J., Giesbrecht, G. F., Leung, B. M., Field, C. J., Dewey, D., Bell, R. C., … & Singhal, N. (2014). The Alberta Pregnancy Outcomes and Nutrition (APrON) cohort study: rationale and methods. Maternal & child nutrition, 10(1), 44-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8709.2012.00433.x

Leung BM, Giesbrecht GF, Letourneau N, Field CJ, Bell RC, Dewey D; APrON Study Team. Perinatal nutrition in maternal mental health and child development: Birth of a pregnancy cohort. Early Hum Dev. 2016 Feb; 93:1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2015.11.007.

Are data available outside study team?  Yes, through SAGE – Secondary Analysis to Generate Evidence (
Study focus  To improve the health and long-term potential of mothers and newborn babies in Alberta by identifying the role of nutrition in mental and neurodevelopmental disorders, and long-term neurocognitive function.
Sampling frame  2009- 2025 (with current funding)
Year commenced  2008
Commencement sample  Maternal n=2191, Paternal n=1325, Infant n=2169
Intergenerational?  Not yet but we are hopeful that we will continue to receive funding so we can do transgenerational analysis. 
Imaging  Yes, on a small subset (N~150) of the children
Linkage  No
Biosamples? Buccal, blood, urine, breastmilk 
Ethics approvals or requirements? UofC REB14-1702

UofA Pro00002954

Both specific and extended consents


Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample

1 Maternal Time A & B First Visit

Mothers at <27 weeks gestation

 2009- 2012 31.6 , 16- 44 years old Maternal n= 2189

2 Maternal & Paternal Time C Visit

Mothers at 14 – 26 weeks gestation

2009- 2012   Maternal n= 1838
Paternal n= 1325
3 Maternal, Paternal & Infant Time E Visit- 12 weeks postpartum  2009- 2013  

Maternal n= 2051

Paternal n= 1287

Infant n= 1784

4 Maternal & Infant Time F Questionnaires- 24 weeks postpartum 2010- 2013  

Maternal n= 1727

Infant n = 1759

5 Maternal & Infant Time G Questionnaires – 1 years postpartum  2010- 2014  

Maternal n= 1747

Infant n= 1799

6 Maternal & Child Time H Questionnaires – 2 years postpartum 2011- 2015  

Maternal n= 1833

Child n= 1865

7 Maternal & Child Time I Questionnaires – 3 years postpartum 2012- 2016  

Maternal n= 1628

Child n= 1660

8 Maternal, Paternal & Child Time J Questionnaires – 5 years postpartum 2014- 2018   Maternal, paternal & child n= unknown till data collection is complete.
9 Maternal & Child Time K Questionnaires – 8 years postpartum 2017- 2021   Maternal & child n= unknown till data collection is complete.
10 Maternal & Child Time L Questionnaires – 12 years postpartum 2021- 2025   Maternal & child n= unknown till data collection is complete.