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UH Hilo to conduct women’s health survey

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Date: Friday, September 10, 2004
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The University of Hawaii at Hilo is conducting a research project to examine important aspects of women’s health in the East Hawai‘i area. The study is supported by a grant from the National Institutes for Health.

The first phase of the study will be a mailed questionnaire to approximately 2,000 East Hawai‘i households, according to principal investigator Dr. Daniel Brown, professor of anthropology and director of the Minority Biomedical Research Program at UH Hilo. Brown said that adult women in households receiving the questionnaire are requested to fill it out and mail it back. Respondents will receive $20 for answering the questionnaire and returning it.

“It will take about 15 minutes for women to fill out the survey,” Brown said. “We’re going to be sending out a lot of these forms to the community, and we want people to realize the survey is a genuine research project that has been rigorously reviewed for scientific merit by the National Institutes of Health, and for participant safety and confidentiality by the University of Hawai`i Committee on Human Studies. It's not just one of those scams in the mail.”

Brown said that to insure confidentiality, any information necessary to mail reimbursement checks will be kept separate from the survey data taken from the questionnaires.

“The research covers many issues, but is especially focused on menopause and its symptoms,” Brown explained.

Brown and his co-investigators, Dr. Lynn Morrison, assistant professor of anthropology at UH Hilo, and Dr. Lynnette Leidy Sievert, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will also be conducting a more intensive clinical study involving blood pressure and menopausal symptoms. That study will be composed of a smaller group of women who answered the initial questionnaire. Women participating in the clinical study will receive $200.

“We’re hoping to get 1500 or more responses from women of any age from the surveys mailed to Hilo households. From those responses, we will ask women around ages 45 to 55 to participate in the clinical studies,” Brown explained. “Participation is, of course, voluntary.”

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