How does the NBDPS collect information?
The NBDPS collects two different types of data: interview and genetic data.
The team uses interviews to collect information from women. A computer guides the interviewers in asking the questions, so every woman gets asked the same questions in the same way. Sometimes after an interview, the interviewer will call a woman back to clarify her answers or get more information. The interview covers a wide range of topics. We are mostly interested in the pregnancy period and three months before pregnancy. Questions are asked about:
- Past pregnancies
- Health and diet
- Prescription and non-prescription drugs
- Work and hobbies
- Father's work and lifestyle
The NBDPS team sends out small brushes to each family to collect cheek cells from biological mothers, fathers, and babies, when possible. If all members are unable to collect cheek cells, please do not hesitate to send what was collected. These brushes get sent back to the NBDPS laboratory where they are stored securely without the family's name.
The cheek cells contain genes. Genes are part of long strands of cell material called DNA. Strands of DNA are found inside each of the cells of the body. Each gene on the DNA strand has special instructions that tell the cell what to do. For example, one gene might tell the cell how to make the chemicals that help us digest food. Investigators look at the cheek cells in the lab to see if there are differences in specific genes between the cases and controls.