Cohort profile: The promotion of breastfeeding intervention trial (PROBIT)

Int J Epidemiol. 2014 Jun;43(3):679-90. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyt003. Epub 2013 Mar 7.


The PROmotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT) is a multicentre, cluster-randomized controlled trial conducted in the Republic of Belarus, in which the experimental intervention was the promotion of increased breastfeeding duration and exclusivity, modelled on the Baby-friendly hospital initiative. Between June 1996 and December 1997, 17,046 mother-infant pairs were recruited during their postpartum hospital stay from 31 maternity hospitals, of which 16 hospitals and their affiliated polyclinics had been randomly assigned to the arm of PROBIT investigating the promotion of breastfeeding and 15 had been assigned to the control arm, in which breastfeeding practices and policies in effect at the time of randomization was continued. Of the mother-infant pairs originally recruited for the study, 16,492 (96.7%) were followed at regular intervals until the infants were 12 months of age (PROBIT I) for the outcomes of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity; gastrointestinal and respiratory infections; and atopic eczema. Subsequently, 13,889 (81.5%) of the children from these mother-infant pairs were followed-up at age 6.5 years (PROBIT II) for anthropometry, blood pressure (BP), behaviour, dental health, cognitive function, asthma and atopy outcomes, and 13,879 (81.4%) children were followed to the age of 11.5 years (PROBIT III) for anthropometry, body composition, BP, and the measurement of fasted glucose, insulin, adiponectin, insulin-like growth factor-I, and apolipoproteins. The trial registration number for Current Controlled Trials is ISRCTN37687716 and that for is NCT01561612. Proposals for collaboration are welcome, and enquires about PROBIT should be made to an executive group of the study steering committee (M.S.K., R.M.M., and E.O.). More information, including information about how to access the trial data, data collection documents, and bibliography, is available at the trial website (

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weights and Measures
  • Breast Feeding / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Cognition
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Mothers
  • Oral Health
  • Republic of Belarus
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN37687716