Issues in design and implementation in an urban birth cohort study: The Syracuse AUDIT project

Judith A. Crawford, Teresa M. Hargrave, Andrew Hunt, Chien Chih Liu, Ran D. Anbar, Geralyn E. Hall, Deepa Naishadham, Maria H. Czerwinski, Noah Webster, Sandra D. Lane, Jerrold L. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Syracuse AUDIT (Assessment of Urban Dwellings for Indoor Toxics) project is a birth cohort study of wheezing in the first year of life in a low-income urban setting. Such studies are important because of the documented serious risks to children's health and the lack of attention and published work on asthma development and intervention in communities of this size. We studied 103 infants of mothers with asthma, living predominantly in inner-city households. Our study combines measurements of a large panel of indoor environmental agents, in-home infant assessments, and review of all prenatal and postnatal medical records through the first year of life. We found multiple environmental pollution sources and potential health risks in study homes including high infant exposure to tobacco smoke. The prevalence of maternal smoking during pregnancy was 54%; postnatal environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure was nearly 90%. The majority (73%) of homes showed signs of dampness. Participants' lives were complicated by poverty, unemployment and single-parenthood. Thirty-three percent of fathers were not involved with their children, and 62% of subjects moved at least once during the study period. These socioeconomic issues had an impact on project implementation and led to modification of study eligibility criteria. Extensive outreach, follow up, and relationship-building were required in order to recruit and retain families and resulted in considerable work overload for study staff. Our experiences implementing the project will inform further studies on this and other similar populations. Future reports on this cohort will address the role of multiple environmental variables and their effects on wheezing outcome during the first year of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-759
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Birth cohort
  • Childhood exposure
  • Indoor pollution
  • Maternal asthma
  • Study design
  • Tobacco smoke exposure
  • Wheeze

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Issues in design and implementation in an urban birth cohort study: The Syracuse AUDIT project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this