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Centre de recherche
Tuesday, September 21 2010
Press release

Future parents are invited to take part in a new study on perinatal health and child development

Montreal, September 21st, 2010 - Approximately 5,000 families (pregnant women, fathers and newborns) are being asked to take part in a new study called Étude 3-D (Découvrir, Développer, Devenir) that is aimed at understanding the effects of perinatal events on child development. The study is directed by Dr. William Fraser, Associate Director of Clinical Research at the CHU Sainte-Justine (CHUSJ) and professor of Medicine at the University of Montreal.

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from five universities is responsible for the study. Families will be recruited at the 13 sites that are taking part in this large study in Quebec and Eastern Ontario : the CHUSJ, the CHUM (St-Luc Hospital), Royal Victoria Hospital, the CHUS, the CHUQ, Sacré-Cœur Hospital, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital Center, the Jewish General Hospital, the Ottawa Hospital, OVO Clinic, the Clinique de fertilité de Montréal and the Public Reproduction Centre of McGill University Health Centre.

“A child’s future health and development are established during the perinatal period,” explained Dr. Fraser. “There are several perinatal factors that are of interest to us, such as life, heredity, diet as well as employment and family situation. In order to achieve a good understanding of these factors have on child development, it is necessary to conduct longitudinal follow-up studies. In adults, cohort studies have revolutionized the understanding of risk factors like, for example, those related to cardiovascular diseases. Birth cohort studies such as Étude 3-D have the same potential to revolutionize science in relation to the effect of pregnancy on child development. We are specifically zeroing in on four major issues in perinatality: prematurity, assisted procreation techniques, intrauterine growth retardation and birth defects.” Étude 3-D will be the first major birth cohort study to be conducted mainly in Quebec.

The project is being funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). The participation of the mother, father and future child starts right from the onset of pregnancy and finishes when the child is two years old. Parents are asked to provide information on their environment and life style as well as biological samples that make it possible to measure, for instance, environmental contaminants and genetic factors that may affect health. Children will be monitored to evaluate their growth and development indices. The databank and samples will enable researchers to identify factors that contribute toward the proper development of the fetus and child and identify risk factors for developmental issues.

“With this one of a kind large-scale longitudinal study, we will be able to identify the effects of several environmental aspects on fetal development,” stated Dr. Michael Kramer, the scientific director of the CIHR’s Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health.

To take part in the study : 514 345-4931 ext. 6188 or www.IRNPQEO.ca

For further information on this study, please visit the CHU Sainte-Justine and Centre de recherche du CHUSJ websites to view our on-line video capsules.

Video capsules

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