Superfund Research Program
Human Subjects and Sampling Core
Project Leader: Jose F. Cordero (University of Georgia)
Co-Investigator: Carmen Milagros Velez Vega (University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus)
Grant Number: P42ES017198
Funding Period: 2010-2025
This year, the Human Subjects and Sampling Core continued the recruitment and follow-up of pregnant women in the northern karst region of Puerto Rico. The Core has five recruitment sites, the Morovis, Ciales, Camuy, and Lares Community Health Centers, and the Manati Medical Center where most deliveries occur, as well as the Metro Pavia Arecibo (formerly the Cayetano Coll y Toste Hospital) where participants from Lares and Camuy deliver. After the 2017 hurricanes and the 2019 earthquakes, efforts have focused on recovery, assisting and securing the safety of staff, securing collected data and samples to date, supporting the community during recovery and re-establishing communication with cohort participants. While the island is still recovering, the team was able to reestablish the recruitment and follow up process. Through January 3, 2020 a total of 2630 potential participants were screened, of which 2259 were eligible and 2074 were recruited. A total of 1823 expecting mothers were retained for the study including 1598 completed Pregnancy with 1513 live births. The Human Subjects and Sampling Core continues to work closely with the Data Management and Modeling Core to collect data from 15 forms (equaling over 3,000 fields of data per study subject) in one centralized database, where it is accessed by Puerto Rico Test site for Exploring Contamination Threats (PROTECT) researchers for analysis.