Three Generations Dedicated to Health Science

Three generations of the Lim family were recognised by Her Excellency, the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, Governor of Western Australia on Friday 20st October at the Raine Study Annual Scientific Meeting for 2017, following more than 27 years of involvement in one of the world’s largest cohort studies.

Evelyn and Jonathan Lim are part of the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study which was established in 1989. Jonathan’s 20 month old son, Henry, will become part of the study when he turns two early next year.

Evelyn Lim was one of 2900 pregnant women recruited into the study and her son, Jonathan, has been involved in the study since before he was born and every few years since.

Mrs Lim, who is part of the Raine Generation 1 cohort, said she originally joined the study, partly out of curiosity, but also from an understanding about how difficult it can be to gather participants for research work. However, over the last 27 years she said she recognised the difference they could make as a family.

“Over time it became more and more evident that the longer the study continued, the more important the results would be and we really are honoured to be part of it,” she said.

Jonathan’s son, Henry, will be the third generation of the Lim family to be involved in the study and Jonathan said he felt proud his own son will be part of a study that had been part of his own life for so long.

“We are looking forward to Henry also being able to be part of the study. To be able to compare my own results with his, no doubt will bring a lot of quality information to the area of health science research,” he said.

The Raine Study Annual Scientific Meeting was held at the UWA Club on Friday 20st October and was officially opened by Her Excellency, the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC Governor of Western Australia.

The meeting was attended by over 85 existing and future Raine Study researchers. Current Raine Study researchers presented preliminary findings using data collected through the Raine Study cohort.

The Raine Study is one of the most richly detailed prospective cohorts of pregnancy, childhood, adolescence and now early adulthood to be carried out anywhere in the world.

It was established in 1989 to determine how events during pregnancy and childhood influence health in later life. With over 450 research papers published since that time, some key findings have included: Establishing the safety of ultrasounds and the standard of prenatal ultrasound scanning worldwide; the identification of genes associated with lung function, birthweight, puberty and language development; the benefits of breastfeeding on weight, asthma, allergies and behavioural problems; the impact of diet on behaviour and school achievement in adolescents and teenagers; the impact of Vitamin D levels on allergies and asthma; and the benefits of organised sport as a child as a trajectory to health in adulthood.

Currently Jonathan and the other members of the Raine Study’s ‘Generation 2’ cohort are having their 27-year follow-up, which includes a range of questionnaires, blood tests, urine samples, faecal samples, MRI scans, full body DXA scans, 3D imaging of their head and faces and more.

Researchers are currently looking into many other areas of study including gut health, vision, mental health, spinal pain, activity and sleep as well as work habits.

Meanwhile, the children of Jonathan’s cohort who have turned two, are now members of the Generation 3 cohort.  Similar tests are being done on these children as were done on the original Raine Study cohort as part of key longitudinal data collection.

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