Childhood Health Outcomes in A Rural Cohort – 817

Project Title: Childhood Health Outcomes in A Rural Cohort

Principal Investigator: James A. Merchant, M.D.

Affiliation: University of Iowa

City & State: Iowa City, Iowa

Grant Number: 1 R01 CCR714364-01

Start & End Dates: 09/30/97 – 09/29/00


The Keokuk County Rural Health Study (KCRHS) serves as a research core of the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health (GPCAH), the NIOSH Midwestern Agricultural Health and Safety Center. The KCRHS is a large, prospective and comprehensive study of 1,000 households in Keokuk County, Iowa – a agriculturally dependent, rural county typical of Iowa and Midwestern agriculture. The study is now nearing the completion of Round 1 with over 830 households having enrolled in the study which includes detailed questionnaires, medical examinations, and farm and household environmental assessments. All of these data are collected on all members of all households including children from birth to age 17. Data is currently available on over 460 children and over 550 children are expected to have been studied at the end of Round 1. Review of the literature documents a need for population-based health outcome data for injuries, asthma and suicide/depression among farm and other rural children who frequently work in agricultural jobs. Preliminary analyses of the KCRHS cohort documents a significant prevalence of childhood injuries, asthma and airway hyperreactivity, and depression and will provide sufficient power to conduct analytical studies of these three health outcomes to identify and quantify risk factors for these health outcomes that will utilize both Round 1 and Round 2 data, SOMETHING MISSING will be supported by evaluation of currently available environmental assessment data and new occupational and environmental data that will be collected for these health outcomes in Round 2. It is anticipated that the results of these studies will have direct applicability to children exposed to Midwestern farming operations, but will also be relevant to children in agricultural settings nationally.

Page last reviewed: August 30, 2001