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The Infant Development and the Environment Study


TIDES: The Infant Development and Environment Study

Participation in The Infant Development and the Environment Study (TIDES) began when pregnant mothers were in their first trimester of pregnancy and followed children into infancy. During the first 5 years of TIDES, we enrolled almost 800 moms and their babies across four research study sites (Rochester, NY, Seattle, WA, Minneapolis, MN, and San Francisco, CA).

Because of the success of the initial TIDES and the importance of its findings, the National Institutes of Health funded a second phase of the study, which we called TIDES II. This phase allowed us to learn more about the health of the TIDES moms and their TIDES children as they grew up. TIDES II was based at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and involved approximately 700 families with TIDES children aged 4-6 years old across our four study sites.

What Have We Learned So Far?

Our findings from TIDES suggest that prenatal exposure to common chemicals in our diet and homes, such as phthalates – chemicals that make plastics soft and flexible – may affect the development of the reproductive tract in baby boys, but not that of girls. These results are also affected by the amount of stress that mom reported during pregnancy. We have additionally looked at how these chemicals and stressors may impact children’s brain development, asthma risks, and growth.

Our Current Study Phase: TIDES ECHO

TIDES is now collaborating with ECHO PATHWAYS and NYU ECHO, as part of a larger, national study of families. ECHO, the Environmental Influences on Child Outcomes Study, was created by the NIH for the purpose of bringing together researchers around the country who study children’s health and development. More than 30 research groups throughout the United States have joined ECHO to create a study population of approximately 50,000 children and their mothers. As the study progresses, ECHO will examine environmental exposures in relation to five major outcomes: pre-, peri-, and post-natal health, airway health, obesity, neurodevelopment, and positive health.

Next Steps for Participants

If you are a TIDES participant who agreed to be contacted for further participation, the TIDES research team will contact you via email or phone to determine your interest in continuing with the study. We are now scheduling visits for TIDES children who are approximately age 9-10. Should you agree to continue participating, we will schedule you and your child according to your availability. We are still happy to follow-up with you even if you have left the Rochester-area.

If you are a TIDES participant and would like to update your contact information, please use the TIDES Contact Form.

We very much look forward to being in contact with you again!

More About Other TIDES Sites

More About ECHO

Current TIDES Publications