Durham is one of seven counties in North Carolina chosen to participate in a national, long-term children's health study. The National Children's Study is the largest long-term study on children's health ever done in the U-S. It seeks to recruit pregnant women or women expecting to be pregnant and then follow their children all the way to their 21st birthdays. Researchers will collect data from the children's environment to see how that correlates to any number of health problems that may develop. Sharon Loza is the study's Durham County Project Manager.
Sharon Loza: "They're trying to understand what's going on in the physical space that children live in, so the air they breathe, the water they drink, the areas that they play on. They're trying to look at the social environment, so the neighborhoods that they live, the families, kind of their socioeconomic structures that they're brought up in. And it's also looking at biology, so we're running to incorporate the genetic factor. Really what we're trying to do is conceive of this study as a resource, a national and international resource of data that will be available to researchers to explore any number of hypotheses. "
The other state counties selected at random to participate are Duplin, Rockingham, Burke, Cumberland, Buncombe, and Gaston.