HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii has been selected as one of the research sites for the largest study ever of children's health. The nearly three billion dollar national study will begin soon on Oahu and around the country.
Many kids across the mainland and here in Hawaii are suffering from asthma, diabetes, obesity and other health problems. But the goal of a new study will be identify, treat and even prevent these now common ailments by taking a long look at children's environment, communities and diet.
"The goal of the study is study 100,000 kids born over the next 5 years." says Dr. Lynnae Sauvage with the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine.
This community based study will include 1000 hawaii keiki and track their health for the next 21 years. Giving researchers an intimate look at the development of children. "We're going to be part of these people's families. We're going to be seeing them 13 times over the next 21 years and we're going to be calling them on the phone every three months." says Sauvage.
Researchers will be studying more than just the health of babies after they're born but will also look at how health during pregnancy affects future diseases. Honolulu county was selected as one of 22 research sites, and while Hawaii will receive an estimated 50 million in funding for the two decades long study, it's the knowledge of what is causing diseases in children that will be so valuable.
"This is actually the most important study in child health in this century." states Sauvage.
The first baby will be enrolled in the study in December of 2009. Researchers won't have to wait 21 years to get results of this long term study, they expect to start getting important health information as soon as two or three years later.