National researchers begin study in SL County

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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Don't be surprised if someone knocks on your door in the weeks to come, asking if your family wants to be a pioneer for a lifetime in one of the most monumental health studies ever undertaken.

The National Children's Study has designated Salt Lake County as one of seven vanguard sites in the country to participate in this study, the largest of its kind ever.

The knock on the door came Wednesday afternoon at the home of Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon. The Corroon family's neighborhood was randomly selected and will be one of 15 in Salt Lake County visited by research teams over the next six months.

"The Corroon family is especially thrilled to be the first family to be interviewed," Mayor Corroon said.

There are other Utah sites as well. Over time, the National Children's Study hopes to register 100,000 kids from 105 vanguard sites throughout the country.

**What is the National Children's Study?** *The National Children's Study will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The goal of the Study is to improve the health and well-being of children.*

Research teams will follow participants pre-conceptually, through pregnancy, at birth, as the infant grows into a child, to a teen, to age 21, possibly even to old age and death. They'll look at genetics, lifestyle, where they live and move, what they eat, what they breathe, even the composition of house dust. The list goes on. "Our children are in a health crisis. For the first time, our children who are 8 years old are likely to be less healthy than their parents," said Dr. Edward Clark, with Primary Children's Hospital. "Something is happening in our environment and, as a consequence, it's affecting the health of our children"

These first questions determine eligibility for the study and whether the family even wants to get involved.

Long term, if successful, researchers might find the triggers for autism, attention deficit, asthma, diabetes, muscular disorders, birth defects, heart disease, obesity and more.

Depending on funding, researchers, themselves, as they age, might have to pass the baton onto their colleagues who'll continue the study without missing a beat.


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Ed Yeates


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