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The first two sites demonstrate the study's look at diversity in not just population but environmental factors. Sparsely populated Duplin County -- where University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers will cover 885 miles of road to recruit -- is home to many large hog and turkey farms and their processing factories. Queens mixes a modern urban environment with decades-old industrial sites.
Scientists expect the study's first birth to occur in July. But they won't have to wait for the children to grow up for answers: Data on what influences problems like premature birth and birth defects should come first, as early as 2012, with more details on early childhood diseases within five years.
In April, scientists will begin recruiting in five more locations, in parts of California, Pennsylvania, Utah, South Dakota and Minnesota. The first locations are pilot-testing the study's initial steps, with nationwide enrollment set for summer 2010.
But the NIH issued a gentle warning Tuesday: Don't call up seeking to volunteer. Participants must be from tightly defined geographic locations to avoid skewing the results, and researchers are calling homes or getting prenatal providers to recruit in just those spots.
On the Net:
Study details: http://www.nationalchildrensstudy.gov/
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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