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Project 1: Community Health Assessment of health Risks associated with the Macondo Spill: Increasing Resilience in Diverse Vulnerable Communities

Project 1 Specific Aims

  • Develop and maintain a research partnership between Gulf fishing communities and a consortium of academic institutions, utilizing a CBPR approach and ensuring the feedback of study results to the participating individuals and communities through the CODC (Croisant)
  • Conduct a comprehensive health assessment of a cohort of exposed Gulf-fishing community members residing in Louisiana and Mississippi to include measures of parent petrogenic PAH in bio-specimens and health effects (Croisant)
  • Sample seafood from the Gulf seafood harvest, including shrimp, crab, oysters, and finfish to assess the amount and nature of petrogenic PAH contamination in Gulf marine species harvested for human consumption (Sullivan)
  • Preliminary Data Only
    1. Determine the extent to which other stressors such as mental stress, presence of disease, lifestyle factors, occupation, preexisting disease, and demographic factors influence this relationship
    2. Assess the household and community economics of seafood
    3. Investigate the inherent/traditional community resilience in affected communities and translate findings to guide activities conducted through the CODC

Project 1 Description

  • Clinical cohort study of coastal residents
  • Community vulnerability & resilience research

This project will develop and maintain a Community-based Participatory Research (CBPR) Partnership between Gulf fishing communities and a consortium of academic institutions, ensuring the feedback of study results to the participating individuals and communities through the Community Outreach and Dissemination Core (CODC). This study utilizes a multi-faceted approach capitalizing upon the unique skill sets of all involved, including a longitudinal clinical study based on an epidemiologic design that is, in turn, supported by the basic science projects. Perhaps most important to the success of the study is the active involvement of the target communities in each aspect. Community partners residing in Louisiana, and Mississippi will harvest selected seafood species for analysis of petrogenic PAH contamination (Project 2), PAH toxicology (Project 3), and participate in the comprehensive health assessment (Project 1, 2 and 4). Project 1 will also evaluate the success of processes and outcomes in meeting community and investigator needs.

Human Cohort Protocol
Enrollment of 400 subjects, 100 each from:
Gulfport, MS (Vietnamese American Community Partner)
Biloxi, MS (Center for Environmental & Economic Justice)
Southeast Louisiana (United Houma Nation)
Galveston (comparison community)

One hundred participants from each community
- 50 adults aged from 20 to 55
- 25 adults aged >55
- 25 adolescents and children aged from 5 to 19
- Approximately equal numbers of males and females in each group

Each participant will be followed for three years. They must:

  • Complete a 30-60 minute survey about consumption patterns of seafood and health annually over a three-year period such as:
    • Health symptoms and degree of belief that they are associated with the spill
    • Indicators of general health
    • Respiratory symptoms (based on ATS survey)
    • Chronic health problems
    • Access to medical and mental health resources
    • Mental health
    • Habits and lifestyle
    • Brief family history
    • Occupational and residential histories (no demographic data are solicited
    • Fishing habits
    • Seafood consumption patterns
    • Level of trust in social institutions
  • Complete an annual health assessment with a physician who will provide participant with all results
    • Allow a physician to measure blood pressure, heart rate, height, weight, waist circumference, visual acuity, and lung function
    • Provide blood and urine samples

Seafood Sampling

  • 208 Samples through 2014 with emphasis on under-sampled areas and areas exposed to heavy influx of crude oil during spill
    - United Houma Nation (116)
    - Vietnamese American Community Partner(42)
    - Alabama Fisheries Cooperative (40)
  • Major Gulf commercial species (white and brown shrimp, oysters, blue crab, squid) and subsistence finfish including red fish, red snapper, grouper, speckled trout and flounder
  • Sampling will continue as possible
    - Barataria and Lafitte, LA as well as Plaquemines Parish south of Buras (all heavily oiled and under-sampled), St. Bernard Parish, LA and far western MS (heavily oiled), and south Mobile Bay (Dauphin Island heavily oiled)

Right Column

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