Rather than have study staff go door-to-door to recruit families, the Lamar County research team is collaborating with obstetricians and pediatricians in Paris and Sulphur Springs to identify and refer women who are pregnant, or may become pregnant in the next few years, for possible participation. Dr. Lister, who is also pediatrician-in-chief at Children's Medical Center Dallas, said the team hopes to enroll and follow 1,000 Lamar County children.
The undertaking is an observational research study rather than a clinical trial, so participants will not be asked to change their day-to-day routines or take any medicines or drugs. Staff initially will collect data on pregnancies, such as the participant's diet, chemical exposure and emotional stress. Once children are born, the researchers will begin collecting biological samples as well as samples of things such as air, water and dust from locations where the children spend a lot of time.
Dr. Cherry said study site staffers already have identified a few potential participants. Though the entire study will take more than two decades to complete, results will be made public as the research progresses.
"As soon as we have findings we feel we can publish, we'll reveal them right away," she said.
Dr. Lister added: "These results may prompt novel, important questions about children's health and the environment that can be answered later in the study."
Authorized by Congress in the Children's Health Act of 2000, the National Children's Study is being conducted by a consortium of federal agencies. These include two National Institutes of Health institutions the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and the U.S. Environmental Protectio
|Contact: Kristen Holland Shear|
UT Southwestern Medical Center