Cache County, USU To Join U of U In Landmark National Children's Study

Cache County, USU To Join U of U In Landmark National Children's Study

Oct 3, 2007 6:00 PM

SALT LAKE CITY - Northern Utah's Cache County has been selected as a study center in the National Children's Study, the largest investigation ever undertaken to assess the effects of environmental and genetic factors on child and human health in the United States.

Cache County, which lies on Utah's border with Idaho, is one of 26 new locations chosen for the landmark study. Utah State University (USU) will work with the county to conduct the study, with Richard N. Roberts, Ph.D., professor of psychology, serving as a co-investigator.

The National Children's Study began two years ago when seven national Vanguard Centers, including Salt Lake County, were named to launch the effort. The University of Utah Department of Pediatrics, with support from Primary Children's Medical Center and other government and health-care agencies, received a $16 million contract to fund the study. Edward B. Clark, M.D., professor and chair of pediatrics at the U of U School of Medicine, was named principal investigator for the Salt Lake County Vanguard Center. He also is principal investigator for the Cache County/USU study center.

The study is the biggest of its kind ever undertaken and will benefit the nations children for generations, according to Clark. Collaborating with USU will bring tremendous value to the project. .

"We are excited to add Cache County to the list of study locations. Cache County brings and agricultural and rural focus to the study in Utah, which already includes urban Salt Lake County. The diversity of people and places in our state are now truly represented in the National Children's Study," Clark said. "The Cache County study site includes an important partnership with Utah State University. We are especially excited about the expertise Utah State's Early Intervention Research Institute will contribute to this project."

Utah State University is a leader in developmental disability, genetic-environmental interactions from prenatal to adulthood, the influence of home and school environments on children's development and socialization, and other areas of study. .

"This is a tremendous opportunity for USU to have a direct impact on the understanding of how our changing world and physical environment will affect the physical and social development of the next generation of children in the Cache Valley and throughout the United States," said Roberts, who also serves as director of USU's Early Intervention Institute at the Center for Persons with Disabilities. "We have tremendous resources to bring to bear on this study. Many of these issues already are under study at USU."

The National Children's study is the largest long-term investigation ever undertaken to assess childrens health and development in relation to environmental exposures. The study will track more than 100,000 U.S. children from before birth until age 21 to seek the root causes of many childhood and adult diseases. The study is sponsored by the National U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institute of Child and Human Development), the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Funding for the new study centers, as well as the current vanguard centers, comes from a $69 million appropriation from Congress in fiscal year 2007.

Cache County Executive, M. Lynne Lyon, said contributing to a study that will make a lasting impact on the health of the nation's children is an honor.

"We want our children to grow up in a healthy environment and want to do what is needed to ensure that future," Lemon said. "We believe the National Children's Study will form the basis of children's health policy and treatment for generations to come."

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Contact Information:

Phil Sahm, University of Utah,

Health Sciences Public Affairs, (801) 581-2517

Bonnie Midget, Public Relations Director

Primary Children's Medical Center, (801) 662-6590.

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