China, Children, Homes, and Health (CCHH) Study
Few studies on the connections between the attributes of urban residential housing and health have been conducted in China. Building on several international studies, and under the leadership of our colleagues at Tsinghua University, the China, Children, Homes, and Health (CCHH) project was launched in 2010. The first phase of this effort, conducted from 2010 through 2012, involved the completion of a cross-sectional questionnaire survey of nearly 50,000 families with children aged 1-8 years living in 10 Chinese cities. These 10 cities (Harbin, Urumqi, Beijing, Taiyuan, Xi’an, Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chongqing, and Changsha) represent a cross-section of climate zones and urban forms, and will thus provide a unique opportunity to explore key questions at the intersection of housing, environment and health for a modern, urban China.
The first analysis from this collaboration between our HAPI team, led by Gary Adamkiewicz, and the CCHH investigators was focused on the Beijing data, in which we explored the determinants of symptoms typically associated with Sick Building Syndrome among caregivers of the enrolled children. A paper entitled “Effect of Traffic Exposure on Sick Building Syndrome Symptoms among Parents/Grandparents of Preschool Children in Beijing, China” was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE.
We have recently worked to geocode participant addresses in the CCHH Beijing study, in order to generate variables for future built environmental analyses. Approximately 40% of the Beijing cohort provided addresses. We will further use this geocoded information to generate variables for future built environmental analyses, such as each participant’s proximity to green space, traffic exposure, etc. We believe that these linkages to prominent research teams across China will enrich our Health and Places Initiative efforts in the coming years. A strength of the CCHH study is the ability to ultimately examine between-city variability in effect estimates, which may be related to variability in climate, environmental factors, infrastructure and demographics. Our analyses of the CCHH data will continue in 2015.