Pregnant women sought for study of childhood diseases

firestone-riz.jpgPregnant women are being sought for new and innovative research that will look at factors during pregnancy and early life that play a role in the development of allergies and diseases such as cancer, diabetes and asthma.

The Centre for Public Health Research is carrying out the study, which will begin in the Wellington region next week, and run for five years, led by post-doctoral research fellow Ridvan Firestone.

“We want to identify what factors can protect people from developing these diseases, and which factors can increase the risk of developing them,” Dr Firestone says. “ The most accurate way of finding out this type of information is by following babies from womb and throughout life.”

She says completing the user-friendly questionnaire online once a year requires a degree of commitment, but is not as hard as it may seem.

“The online questionnaire may take up to an hour to complete in one sitting, and there’s no other requirements. The website will provide updated information about the study and preliminary findings as it progresses over time. The internet is a fantastic tool to maintain contact with participants, so that follow-up surveys over the next five years won’t be difficult or expensive.”

The pilot study, funded by the Health Research Council, will be run in the Wellington region for a year before it is rolled out around the country.

Women aged 16 or over, in their second or third trimester, are sought from throughout the greater Wellington.

The online questionnaire will go live from 8 September.

To find out more about The ELF Study, or to register: Go to www.elfs.org.nz, or Telephone 0800 2 INFANT (0800 2 463 268) to speak to a research team member, or
Email us at: elf@massey.ac.nz

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