Superfund Research Program
Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study
Project Leader: Habibul Ahsan (University of Chicago)
Co-Investigators: Ana Navas-Acien, Muhammad G. Kibriya (University of Chicago), Farzana Jasmine (University of Chicago)
Grant Number: P42ES010349
Funding Period: 2000-2021
Over the past year, Habibul Ashan, M.D., and their team continued to conduct follow-up activities of Health Effects of Arsenic Longitudinal Study (HEALS) participants. Follow-up surveys of about 3,500 HEALS participants were completed during the past year. Another 2,000 (with some overlap) HEALS participants were evaluated for health outcomes by HEALS study physicians at the HEALS field clinic. In addition, all deaths in the cohort and their causes were ascertained, as well as incidence of major illnesses as part of ongoing surveillance through village health workers. As part of the fieldwork component for this project, in 2019 the University of Chicago Research Bangladesh staff provided 49 community health trainings to 1,891 community members which included long-term HEALS participants. These trainings not only enhanced study participant interactions with staff, but also provided an opportunity to include new findings in health education. Findings regarding the interaction between systolic blood pressure and heavy metal exposure were integrated into the ongoing NCD training module that is part of the locally supported community health education program.
Relevant highlights with regards to the investigators, trainees and community activities have resulted in publications reporting various aspects of HEALS project findings. Many of these papers have been in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals.