A lecture was held at the Dasman Diabetes Institute on 26th March 2012 by Dr. Rosalind Wright, MD MPH, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health themed, “TRACER- Going Forward”. Dr. Wright gave a brief background about the previous Harvard studies in Kuwait to which this pregnancy/birth cohort study is considered a natural extension. Dr. Wright talked about the great impact of chronic diseases e.g. diabetes, obesity, asthma, allergies, cardiovascular and neurodevelopmental disorders in Kuwait.

Dr. Douglas Dockery and Dr. Rosalind Wright are the Principal Investigators of TRACER – Transgenerational Assessment of Children’s Environmental Risk study, which is being conducted at the Dasman Diabetes Institute. This will be the first study of its kind in the region and Kuwait will be considered to be the leader in such Birth Cohort studies focused on environmental health. The study is designed to be a prospective pregnancy birth cohort study examining associations between a number of environmental exposures occurring during pregnancy and early childhood and subsequent development of chronic diseases in infancy, childhood and even extending to later in life. Pregnant women will be approached at the antenatal clinics by trained research staff who can give them more details about the study and inquire about voluntary participation or enrollment into the study. The first phase of the longitudinal study will follow women during pregnancy and follow the families and their children after birth up to when the child turns 3 years of age.

The TRACER pilot study was successfully conducted in 2011 enrolling 119 pregnant women and their babies from both the public and private sectors in Kuwait. The main long-term TRACER study is expected to start in May 2012 enrolling around 3000 participants which is expected to be a national representative sample for Kuwait.

TRACER is considered a national repository of heath data and bio-samples which will be a magnet for young researchers in Kuwait and ultimately will serve to inform health policies in Kuwait designed to improve health for the next generations.