BY SHAUNA GOYA – HONOLULU – University of Hawai‘i researchers are announcing today the Hawai‘i launch of the National Children’s Study, the largest long-term study of children’s health in the United States. The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Center at the John A. Burns School of Medicine is one of only 37 study centers around the country selected to begin the initial phases of research.

“Over the next 21 years, the study will give us greater insight into disorders of birth and infancy, as well as adult disorders that are believed to be influenced by early life exposures and events,” Dr. Lynnae Sauvage, principal investigator with the National Children’s Study and University of Hawai‘i professor and chair of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health. “This study will be one of the richest research efforts to focus on children’s health and development. What we learn will be used to improve the well-being of children in Hawai‘i and the nation for generations to come.”

Twelve O‘ahu neighborhoods have been randomly selected to participate in this unprecedented study, designed to help find answers to childhood problems such as asthma, autism, obesity and diabetes. Beginning on October 11, postcards will be sent to every household in the study areas to raise public awareness of the research. Recruitment of women who are or may become pregnant begins on October 18. The 12 neighborhoods are Moanalua, Salt Lake, Pearl Harbor, ‘Ewa Beach, Waipahu, Mililani, Schofield Barracks, Wai‘anae, Hale‘iwa, Hau‘ula, Kailua and the Honolulu International Airport area. Together, these locations were chosen to contribute to a representative sampling of the geographic and demographic diversity of the United States as
a whole.

The study will examine the effects of environmental influences – such as air, water and diet –
on the health and development of 100,000 children across the nation, following them from birth until age 21. Researchers expect to analyze the information yielded by the study to gain a better understanding of the complex interplay of genetics with environmental factors such as the foods children eat and the places where they live, learn and play in their daily lives.

In Hawai‘i, field researchers will be going door to door encouraging women who are or may become pregnant to participate. Health care providers will also refer potential participants to
the study.

The National Children’s Study lead researchers from the UH Mānoa Study Center are
principal investigator Dr. Lynnae Sauvage, investigator Dr. Elizabeth McFarlane and co-director Dr. Beatriz Rodriguez. (See attached bios.) The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are conducting the study.

Those interested in participating in the study can e-mail ncsuhm@hawaii.edu or call the
UH Mānoa Study Center at 692-1920. More information can be found at www.NationalChildrensStudy.gov.

Submitted by Shauna Goya, Communications Pacific

Comments

comments