Description of the Study

The Iowa Flood Study started back in 2008, after severe flooding of the Midwestern States. Dr. Suzanne King (Douglas Hospital Research Centre) and Dr. Michael O’Hara (The University of Iowa) collaborated to initiate a study that would build upon Project Ice Storm. The main goals of the study are to examine how stress in pregnancy and the early postpartum period, caused by traumatic flooding, affects fetal and child development, as well as to investigate the mechanisms by which prenatal stress exerts it effects. Women who were pregnant and who had recently given birth were approached soon after the flooding and asked to participate in a longitudinal study. In total, nearly 270 women were enrolled into the study. Over the past 4 years, mothers and their children have been asked to complete questionnaires, participate in face-to-face assessments, answer questions over the phone, and provide saliva samples for hormonal and genetic analyses. The overwhelming success of the study is attributed to participants’ willingness to partake in the different phases of the study. To date, over 200 woman and children are still enrolled in the study, and are currently completing the 4-year assessments. Preliminary findings from the study are currently being reviewed and analyzed, and will be made available here once analyses are complete.

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