Funding the CHILD Study
The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study (CHILD) received base funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) ($6 million over 6 years), and the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network of Centres of Excellence (AllerGen NCE) ($6 Million over 6 years). In 2005, CIHR in partnership with the AllerGen NCE issued an RFA related to gene-environment interactions in the development of childhood allergy and asthma. In response, the CHILD Study was established in 2007 with initial funding from AllerGen and from the Institutes of Human Development, Child and Youth Health; Genetics; Infection and Immunity; Circulatory and Respiratory Health; and Gender and Health. (CIHR). The CHILD Study involves 44 researchers at 7 universities and 11 hospitals in 4 provinces in Canada.
These organizations and groups have contributed in the form of "in-kind" supports, direct supports and specific donations. Disciplines involved include: Epidemiology, Neonatology, Pediatrics, Population Health, Environmental Assessment, Environmental Hygiene, Nutrition, Infectious Disease, Genetics, Obstetrics, Geographic Information Systems, Endocrinology/Metabolism, Physiology, Immunology, Allergy, Air Quality, Toxicology, Sociology, Molecular Biology, Psychology, Neuroimmunology, Biostatistics, Ethics and Legal, Respirology and Occupational Health.
If you want to donate to the study follow the link to the St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation
Does the funding for the CHILD Study duplicate the work of other birth cohorts ?
No, it does not.
A published Inventory of Pregnancy and Birth Cohort Studies in Canada sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) highlighted the unique and comprehensive nature of the CHILD study (http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/40753.html). In particular, it is the only Canadian birth cohort study combining rich environmental objective measurements with substantive longitudinal follow-up beyond birth outcomes. Prospective longitudinal data from over 3,500 children will allow identification of key environmental risk factors relevant to the long-term goal of reducing morbidity of these common disorders by identifying individual and population based 'prescriptions' for prevention or amelioration. The CHILD Study is multi-centre, multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary.
Economic Benefits of Conducting the CHILD Study.
The Federal government legislates standards for housing construction, air ventilation, energy efficiency and safety standards for consumer products that are used in the home. These are sometimes referred to a "modifiable building characterisitcs". The CHILD study offers a significant benefit to those with the responsibility to develop these standards.
The Government works in collaboration with various industry representatives to develop these guidelines that will yield significant health and economic value to Canadians. The government spends millions annual on agencies, departments and consultants to disburse information to many audiences. Consider, however, where these agencies and departments obtain their information and how accurately the information addresses the Canadian experience. The CHILD study will assist in gathering this data.
Governments understand that home renovation is a huge economic stimulus for the country. The CHILD study anticipates visiting 3,500 homes to specifically and methodically assess the indoor environment of Canadian families. Therefore the secondary benefit of the CHILD study has far reaching implications for the building and home renovation industry. The insight gained through these visits will be strategic to policy people in the short term and at the five year mark.
The Economic Value of Home Renovations
Spending on home renovations in Canada has been estimated to be $2.5 billion per month and, according to published reports, totalled $33.4 billion in 2004. This was double the pace of just a decade ago. As well, in 2005, according to both Statistics Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, total spending on home renovations rose a further six per cent to $38 billion.
The reasons for the increase in rennovation are varied and attributed to aging housing, an aging population, the high cost of urban land and a strong resale housing market. Renovation spending far outpaces new home construction.
Source: Canadian Home Builder
Canadians want to know which building materials are better for the health of the occupants. They also want to know what is the likelihood that having specific conditions within the home contribute to or reduce their health status. Lastly, Canada is a vast country with enviroments that are unique and, clearly a "one size fits all" policy statement based on limited data does not take into account local circumstances. For example, the Toronto region has a different living environment in comparison to Edmonton or Winnipeg. Vancouver has a different climate than Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto. Further, the characteristic of homes - apartment, townhouse, house and location dense urban v. rural affects how homes are constructed and rennovated.
CHILD is therefore uniquely positioned to provide data and context to the building rennovation industry. This information will be invaluable to policy makers.