National Children's Study Will Soon Enroll Participants at UT UCEDD

September 23, 2010

In Cache County, the study will eventually follow 1000 births.
In Cache County, the study will eventually follow 1000 births.

In northern Utah, enrollment will soon begin on a landmark study to better understand the interactions between environment and child health and development.

Researchers from the Center for Persons with Disabilities will soon begin enrolling participants for the Cache County location of the National Children's Study. Their work will contribute to an enormous effort to gather data on more than 100,000 children nationwide from pre-birth to age 21.

It will be the largest database ever collected on children as they develop, said Mark Innocenti, the Cache County location's co-principal investigator. The Cache Valley location will produce data that both feeds into the national study and may shine a light on local health issues. "We will have information specifically on kids in Cache Valley. We can potentially ask some questions very much focused on what's going on here."

Study participants will be invited to "live your life, change the world" through a marketing campaign which focuses on women who are pregnant or likely to become pregnant. It will be up to them to enter the screening process through the web site or by telephone. The study will then track 1000 children born to the women who agree to participate in Cache County.

Short-term benefits include adding jobs to the local economy-18 people have already been hired and more than 35 people may eventually be employed to work on the study at Utah State University. The long-term benefit will be a better understanding of problems like premature birth, obesity, diabetes, asthma and autism-with the potential to prevent disease or improve its treatment for hundreds of thousands of children.

The National Children's Study in Cache County is led by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah, in partnership with the CPD's Research and Evaluation division. They will work closely with Primary Children's Medical Center, Logan Regional Hospital, city governments and community organizations.