Northern Medical Center to host updates on Navajo Birth Cohort Study

Shiprock, NM – The Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock will be hosting two sessions on July 16 from  to provide updates on the Navajo Cohort Study, which was mandated by the U.S. Congress in August 2010.  The first part of the session will take place in the Atrium of the hospital from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.  The second session will begin at 1 pm until 4:00 pm in the Tse Bita’i Room C.

     Staff from University of New Mexico, Center for Disease Control /Agency for Disease and Substance Toxic Registry , and Navajo Nation EPA (Special Water Project) will be doing presentations on blood/urine and home environment assessment results.


NBCS currently enrolls pregnant women between the ages of 14 and 45 who have lived on the Navajo Nation for a minimum of five years. The potential participant must have a confirmed pregnancy and plan to deliver at one of the five Indian Health Service/638 hospitals. Parent(s) agree to have their child remain in the study for the first year of life.

The Navajo Birth Cohort Study (NBCS) began enrolling participants in February 2013. This research study is recruiting pregnant women to participate in the collection of biological (blood/urine) and home environmental (radon/water) samples during and after their pregnancy. The child’s development is evaluated up to 12 months of age.

The planned outcome of this study is to provide the first Navajo Nation-wide documentation of the possible associations between environmental uranium and other heavy metal exposures and birth outcomes and child development. The data from the study may be used to improve future birth outcomes and services.

This research project has already enrolled more than 235 women across the Navajo Nation. Shiprock is represented with 28 Moms, 13 Dads, and 19 Babies.



Overview of NBCS Study – CDC/ATDSR

Metals Levels in Blood and Urine of Participants in the Navajo Birth Cohort Study – Jennifer Ong, PhD Candidate, University of New Mexico Community Environmental Health Program, Albuquerque, NM

What We’re Learning from Home Environmental Assessments in the Navajo Birth Cohort Study – Chris Shuey, MPH, NBCS Co-Investigator, Southwest Research and Information Center, Albuquerque, NM 

What is the Water Quality in Your Area? – Yolanda Barney, MHA, Environmental Program Manager, Public Water Systems, Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency, Window Rock, AZ

Questions and Answer Session

Learn more about the Navajo Birth Cohort Study.  Or, visit us on