Isles join 20-year health project
The study will track Hawaii children from before they are born to age 21
Hawaii will participate in a $3 billion national health study that will track 1,000 isle children from before birth to age 21 to gather information to prevent and treat some of the nation's most pervasive health problems, it was announced today.
More than 100,000 families will be tracked nationally with information collected about what children eat, the safety of their neighborhoods, biologic data and samples of air, water and dust around the children, according to the announcement.
The University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine was chosen to conduct the isle study because of its medical and research strengths and ability to work closely with the local community in the 20-year study period, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development said.
Dr. Lynnae Millar Sauvage, interim chair of obstetrics, gynecology and women's health at the medical school, will lead the local study, working with health care professionals and community leaders to recruit women who are pregnant or likely to have a child soon.
The school is expected to receive about $50 million in the two decades of the study, with the first contract totaling about $14.5 million.
The study is aimed at combating such problems as autism, asthma, birth defects, diabetes, heart disease and obesity, which together cost $642 billion per year.
Cutting those costs by only 1 percent would save $6.4 billion per year, the National Children's Study pointed out.
The study was initiated in response to the Children's Health Act of 2000. Congress ordered research into environmental and genetic factors affecting child and human health.
Involved in the national effort to improve the health of Americans are the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency.