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University of Iowa News Release

June 2, 2003

UI Research On Child Bone Development Wins Federal Grant Renewal

Photo: Steven Levy
University of Iowa researchers have received a five-year grant renewal totaling $3,590,401 to continue their study of how fluoride and other factors affect bone development in children.

The project began in 1998 as an outgrowth of the Iowa Fluoride Study, a long-term investigation of fluoride intake and its effects on health. The study recruited parents of newborns from 1992-95, asking them to provide periodic information about their children's diet and dental health habits. About 700 children aged 8-11 and their parents continue to participate in the study.

The Iowa Childhood Bone Development Study draws on cooperation and data provided by these families to investigate bone growth over time. Researchers use special low-dose X-rays (bone densitometry) to measure bone status. They then look for links between bone growth and other factors associated with bone health such as genetics, diet, physical activity, body size and composition, and parental bone status. The grant renewal will extend this assessment to participating children at ages 11 and 13.

The project involves researchers from several UI colleges and the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). The principal investigator is Steven Levy, D.D.S., professor of preventive and community dentistry and epidemiology.

Other UI faculty investigators are Trudy Burns, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics and epidemiology; Kathleen Janz, Ed.D., associate professor of health and sport studies and epidemiology; Teresa Marshall, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of preventive and community dentistry; Janet Schlechte, M.D., professor of internal medicine; Phyllis Stumbo, Ph.D., assistant research scientist for the GCRC; James Torner, Ph.D., professor and head of epidemiology; John Warren, D.D.S., associate professor of preventive and community dentistry; James Wefel, Ph.D., professor of pediatric dentistry; and Marcia Willing, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics. The study coordinator is Julie Gilmore, Ph.D.

Collaborators from other institutions include Tom Beck, Ph.D., at Johns Hopkins University and Bonny Specker, Ph.D., at South Dakota State University.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5141 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACTS: Lin Larson, 319-335-9569, Program: Steven Levy, 319-335-7185,