E3N-Generations - Short presentation


The E3N-Generations cohort study: what is it?

E3N-Generations (formerly E3N-E4N) is an on-going prospective cohort study based on the existing E3N cohort of ca. 100,000 French women initiated in 1990. It will ultimately include the spouses (specifically, the fathers of E3N women’s children), children, and grandchildren of the E3N women.

E3N-Generations is a “family cohort” built on 3 generations. It will expand the E3N cohort study by investigating health and disease in men as well, and by creating a suitable framework to investigate familial aggregations of diseases through common exposures and/or genetics.

What are its scientific objectives?

E3N-Generations participants allow us to:

  • Investigate risk factors of major chronic diseases in both men and women
  • Study the incidence of cognitive decline / loss of autonomy in couples
  • Examine risk factors for major chronic diseases occurring in adults and the elderly
  • Explore the influence of lifetime environmental and behavioural factors (“modern” lifestyle) on health
  • Study social or lifestyle changes across generations and their influence on health

We will collect genetic information on 3 generations in order to disentangle the influence of lifestyle, family environment and genetics on health. The E3N-Generations family cohort design is thus a unique setting to discover potentially novel susceptibility genes and explore gene-environment interactions.

We also want to develop interactions between basic sciences, clinical research and public health approaches.

In addition, E3N-Generations study aims at evaluating the benefits of using new technologies and connected objects in medical research (to recruit, collect information, and maintain participation) and to develop e-epidemiology.

How is the E3N-Generations study funded?

In 2011, E3N-Generations (then called E4N) has been selected as an “Investment for the future” grant by the French National Research Agency (ANR). In 2020, E3N-Generations got a second grant by the French ANR.


The recruitment of the men of the first generation (Generation 1 men) started in 2014 and is ongoing. There are 18 000 men of the first generation.

The recruitment of the E3N-Generations children (Generation 2) started in 2018 and is still ongoing. Today, there are 21 000 volonteers of the second generation.

The recruitment of the E3N-Generations children (Generation 3) will start in 2024.

E3N-Generations - A unique family cohort study

The 3 generations of the E3N-Generations study


For any request, please contact us at contact@e3n-generations.fr