PARIS, Texas April 12, 2011 Recruitment for the largest long-term study of children's health ever undertaken in the U.S. is now under way in Lamar County, about 100 miles northeast of UT Southwestern Medical Center, along the Texas-Oklahoma border.
The multicenter study will eventually follow 100,000 children nationwide from birth until age 21 to determine how various factors, including environmental and genetic ones, affect a child's health, development and quality of life. The findings may help form the basis of child health guidance, interventions and policy for future generations.
Dr. George Lister, chairman of pediatrics and principal investigator for the North Texas Children's Study Coalition, a collaboration of three UT System campuses and Battelle Memorial Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio, said at a February press conference that the significance of the study can't be overstated.
"This is a landmark study that's initiated across the country and will be something that will resonate not just in the United States but around the world," said Dr. Lister, who is collaborating on the study with Dr. Debra Cherry, principal investigator for the Lamar County location and occupational medicine physician at the UT Health Science Center at Tyler. "Lamar County will help us piece together some of the factors that influence the health of infants and children and, ultimately, some of the factors that influence chronic illness, and how we might either mitigate or manage those illnesses."
Lamar County, one of the few rural counties currently involved in the National Children's Study, is the only active study site in North Texas, although Dallas County is considered a potential future location. Bexar County, with San Antonio the county seat, is the only other active study site in Texas.
Researchers selected 105 study locations across the U.S. using a random sampling method to ensure that children and families from diver
|Contact: Kristen Holland Shear|
UT Southwestern Medical Center