Pregnant Women Wanted

Would you let a researcher analyze your vaginal fluid, toenail clippings, and breast milk? For months, scientists have been dispatching door-to-door emissaries across the country to recruit pregnant women willing to do just that. With several hundred participants so far, the National Children’s Study aims to enroll 100,000 pregnant women in 105 countries, then monitor their babies until they turn 21 in the largest long-term study of children’s health yet. The study—which was authorized by Congress in 2000 and is projected to cost about $6.7 billion—will examine how environment, genes, and other factors affect children’s health, addressing questions on subjects from ranging from asthma to autism.

Read it at The New York Times.

2 Comments

Filed under Healthcare, Research

2 responses to “Pregnant Women Wanted

  1. indypendent

    After all this research, will the same deniers of global warming dispute the scientific facts learned from this research?

    I can think of more productive ways to spend the $6.7 billion.

  2. fnord

    A year or so ago I participated in a medical study at the place you see advertised often locally — Heartland Research.

    It was testing whether the pneumonia vaccine would be more effective if delivered in doses different than what had been accepted to that point. I think the study was 18 months long. Anyway, we each rec’d. the vaccine, and a small amount of compensation for travel.

    I’ve often wondered if that (or any) study done by that company could produce reliable results. The clerical staff were about as disorganized as I’ve ever witnessed! As you left one appointment they would make your next, hand you the slip of paper with the day, date, time you would return. Not occasionally, but every time, you would receive a call changing that appointment, sometimes a single appointment would be changed more than once. Led me to wonder whether their record keeping was any more efficient than their appointment scheduling.

    Plus, mid-way through the study was a longer sit down evaluation combined with a physical exam. They had recorded every medication I had ever been prescribed as one I was currently taking — which wasn’t accurate! They had actually gone through my medical records and made those notes and got it all wrong! I was incensed! At the invasion of my privacy, at the implications of how messed up that probably made their whole study.

    So, when I read this article and saw the length of time it covers, my first thought was the human element in the record keeping. I also wondered if the final results would be subject to peer review.

    It is so important to note on all research whether or not it was peer reviewed! If it is simply published without peer review you must understand that means nothing more than someone / anyone publishing, including us publishing our opinions here on the blog, and certainly doesn’t make it science or any kind of authority. However, if it is peer reviewed that means every minute detail has been gone over by experts in that field, questions must be answered, tests must be redone if the expert requests, when that peer-reviewed work gets published then you know it is science and based on facts! Not only the author but the reviewers are putting their credibility on the line!