December 06, 2016

Baby In NICU At Hospital

NICHQ Supporting Study of Environmental Influences on Child Health in NICUs

NICHQ (the National Institute of Children’s Health Quality) is partnering in a research study of long-term impact of environmental exposures in neonatal intensive care units (NICU). The study, Developmental Impact of NICU Exposures (DINE), is led by investigators at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai with funding from the National Institutes of Health as part of its seven-year Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes initiative (ECHO).

Approximately 300,000 preterm infants in the United States receive treatment in NICUs, which are chemically intensive environments that may be stressful for newborns. The purpose of the study is to examine potential impact caused by exposure to chemicals, such as phthalate mixtures in plastic medical devices used to treat and support newborns in the NICU.

For the DINE study, 1,000 children ages 3 to 10 at 15 geographically diverse clinical sites in the U.S. who were born prematurely and treated in a NICU after birth will be recruited. The study will measure associations between various environmental and stress exposures in the NICU and growth, development and lung health in early childhood.  

As part of DINE, NICHQ will support the investigators at all clinical sites and the study principal investigators by providing project management, data management and analysis, and the development of a web-based application to facilitate communication and the dissemination of findings. 

“NICHQ brings a strong and unique expertise to this project,” said Judy Aschner, MD, study principal investigator and Chair of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “NICHQ’s experience and expertise in managing complex, collaborative projects will contribute to our successful implementation and execution of the DINE study and our participation in the larger ECHO study consortium.”

“Premature babies in the NICU may already face many serious health consequences,” said Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, president and CEO of NICHQ. “We’re pleased to be part of the team that is working to identify how environmental exposures in the NICU may be impacting long term health so we can optimize the environment for these medically fragile babies.” 

###

NICHQ is an independent, nonprofit organization working for nearly two decades to improve children’s health. We help organizations and professionals who share this mission make breakthrough improvements so children and families live healthier lives. For more information about NICHQ, go to www.NICHQ.org/aboutIf you’d like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview, please call or email Cindy Hutter at chutter@nichq.org or 617-391-2757.