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Unborn babies fertile ground for research

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Organizers of the largest long-term study of children’s health ever conducted in the U.S. are looking for pregnant women, or women planning on being pregnant in the coming year in Montgomery County. Today, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is starting recruitment efforts in Montgomery County.


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Researchers hope to learn about autism, asthma, childhood obesity, and more.

The National Children’s Study could help better understand how children’s genes and their environment affect their health and development.  Researchers plan to enroll about 100,000 women across the country and study their children from before birth through age 21.

Dr. Jennifer Culhane is principal investigator for the Study at Children’s Hospital.

She says the study will collect information on mothers, families, and neighborhoods.

Culhane: Things like chemical exposures, physical activity, diet and look at how these interact with the child’s genetic make-up to produce risk of these pediatric conditions.

The study will include pregnant women in a total of nine counties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

More information:
For more information about autism in children and discussion of long term studies, listen to the April 20 episode (.mp3) of WHYY’s Voices in the Family.

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