Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Focus on Me

Along with approximately 14,000 other children born in Bristol between April 1991 and December 1992, my elder daughter is a 'Child of the 90s'. ALSPAC, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, is a long term research project which has tracked the health and development of these children from before their birth until the present day. We have completed questionnaires on almost every aspect of our lives and my daughter has been observed, examined and sampled at regular intervals. The study has published a steady stream of findings including:

laying babies on their backs has no harmful effects and can reduce the risk of cot death

eating oily fish when pregnant improves the child's eyesight

peanut allergy may be linked to the use of certain nappy rash and eczema cream

children brought up in very hygienic homes are more likely to develop asthma

just 15 minutes a day of moderate or vigorous exercise cuts the risk of obesity by 50%

Today it was my turn. At Focus on Mums I gave blood (to check glucose, insulin and cholesterol) and had a DXA ( to scan bone density) and an ultrasound (to take pictures of my carotid artery). The hard part was fasting for 8 hours prior to my appointment for the blood test. I had to get up at 5:30 for a light breakfast and then sip nothing but water until 14:20. After that it was quite fun and I was relieved to learn that I am not at risk of osteoporosis.