buccal cell fact sheet

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					Agricultural Health Study                                                                               2002

Buccal Cell Collection

           he role of genetics in health and    Why collect buccal cells?
           disease is one of the most rapidly   Collecting buccal cells enables researchers
           expanding areas of scientific        to better understand the way people
           inquiry today. That’s why the        process substances that affect cancer and
           Agricultural Health Study has        other diseases and to determine why some
included the collection of genetic material     people who are exposed to certain
by using a new procedure: the buccal cell       substances develop diseases, whereas
collection.                                     others exposed to the same substances do
                                                not. The material in the buccal cell samples,
What are buccal cells?                          combined with information on occupa-
Buccal cells are the cells from the inner       tional, environmental, and dietary factors,
lining of the mouth, or cheek. These cells      allows researchers to get a more complete
are routinely shed and replaced by new          assessment of what is affecting the health
cells. As the old cells die, they accumulate    of the agricultural population.
in the saliva in the mouth and can easily be
collected by a simple procedure using           How are the cells collected?
mouthwash.                                      Participants who agree to do the buccal cell
                                                collection are mailed a kit that includes
Are you a participant in the                    everything they will need for this simple
Agricultural Health Study?                      “swish and spit” procedure. Each partici-
If you are…                                     pant is asked to swish one tablespoon of
• and if you have already been interviewed      Scope® mouthwash in his or her mouth
   by telephone about your farming, health,     and then spit it into the container
   and diet                                     provided. This one-time procedure takes
• but have not yet provided a buccal            approximately 5 minutes to complete.
   cell sample                                  To prevent contamination of the sample,
It’s not too late to participate!               the study suggests that others not handle
Please call 1-800-217-1954 so that the          the supplies. The sample can be collected
Agricultural Health Study can mail a buccal     at home and mailed with the signed                      Iowa Office:
cell kit to you. The buccal cell sample is      consent form to the laboratory in a                  The University of Iowa
                                                                                                      100 Oakdale Campus
easy to do and just takes a few minutes         preposted, addressed envelope.                     Iowa City, IA 52242-5000
of your time.                                                                                   1-800-217-1954
Your participation will help the Agricultural
Health Study get representative results                                                           Collaborating Partners:
                                                                                                Iowa State University Extension
and would be greatly appreciated.                                                               Iowa Department of Agriculture
Thank you for calling…                                                                                and Land Stewardship

We need your help!
How will the buccal cell samples be used?         How many participants have provided           The Agricultural Health
                                                                                                Study is a long-term study to
The buccal cell sample is being collected         samples?                                      investigate the effects of
                                                                                                environmental, occupational,
for use in future research. The exact studies     So far, approximately 27,000 buccal cell      dietary, and genetic factors
that will be performed are currently not          samples have been collected from
                                                                                                on the health of the
                                                                                                agricultural population.
known but are likely to include the               participants in the Agricultural Health       This study will provide
                                                                                                information that agricultural
following:                                        Study—mainly farmers in Iowa and North        workers can use in making
                                                                                                decisions about their health
1) differences in genes that may be related       Carolina who are pesticide applicators and    and the health of their
to how people process disease-causing             their spouses. The study will continue to
                                                                                                families. The study is
                                                                                                conducted in Iowa by the
substances;                                       collect samples as additional Agricultural
                                                                                                Department of Epidemiology
                                                                                                at the University of Iowa and
2) how the effects of diet, lifestyle, environ-   Health Study participants are contacted for   in North Carolina by Battelle
                                                                                                CPHRE. The study is directed
ment, race and ethnicity, age, and other          the 5-year follow-up interviews. Only         by the National Cancer
                                                                                                Institute, the National
factors may be related to these genes.            participants of the Agricultural Health       Institute of Environmental
                                                                                                Health, and the US
To protect the confidentiality of these           Study can take part, and no new               Environmental Protection
genetic tests, there are multiple safe-           participants may be added to the study.
guards. Collection bottles are identified         This important and valuable contribution      Michael C. R. Alavanja, Dr. P.H.
by numbers—not by names. All information          is made possible only through the             Project Officer
                                                                                                Occupational Epidemiology Branch
is to be kept confidential to the extent          willingness of Agricultural Health Study      National Cancer Institute
                                                                                                Executive Plaza South, Room 8000
provided by law. Names of participants will       participants in Iowa and North Carolina.      Rockville, MD 20852

not be used in any reports. The study             More specifics regarding study findings are   Aaron Blair, Ph.D.
                                                                                                Assistant Project Officer
results are reported in statistical summary       available through our website at:             Occupational Epidemiology Branch
                                                                                                National Cancer Institute
form only.                                                           Executive Plaza South, Room 8118
                                                                                                Rockville, MD 20852
What about research results?                                                                    Dale P. Sandler, Ph.D.
The Agricultural Health Study does not plan                                                     Acting Chief
                                                                                                Epidemiology Branch
to inform participants of their individual                                                      National Institute of Environmental
                                                                                                  Health Sciences
results. If the research yields findings that                                                   111 T. W. Alexander Drive,

are of possible medical benefit, the study                                                      P.O. Box 12233
                                                                                                Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
will publish findings that will be provided                                                     Jane Hoppin, Sc.D.

to participants.                                          The buccal cell collection            Epidemiology Branch
                                                                                                National Institute of Environmental

Even though immediate personal benefits             is one of the most important parts            Health Sciences
                                                                                                111 T. W. Alexander Drive,
                                                                                                P.O. Box 12233
are not expected, the knowledge gained               of the Agricultural Health Study!          Research Park Triangle, NC 27709

from this research may eventually benefit                                                       Kent Thomas, BSPH
                                                                                                Team Leader, AHS Pesticide
not only the farming community but also                                                           Exposure Study

people worldwide. By comparing samples                                                          National Exposure Research
from participants who have diseases with                                                        US Environmental Protection Agency
                                                                                                MD 205-04
samples from those who are healthy, the                                                         Research Triangle Park, NC 27711

Agricultural Health Study may be able to
identify factors that prevent disease and                                                       AHS-IA-2002-3

promote good health.

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