Massachusettes General Hospital/Harvard Study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Northport Residents
The results from the Community Health Surveys collected in 2009, from past and present Northport residents, showed health clusters of multiple illnesses.
A health cluster, as defined by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), is larger than statistically expected cases of a disease or illness, closely grouped together in a timeframe and location.
Health Clusters are usually a good indicator of a common trigger causing the health issue. A very common cause of health clusters are discovered to be linked to exposure to environmental toxins.
The reported cases of Northport residents diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease caught the attention of the medical community. Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease are very rare and there is no known cause or cure for either.
Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) contacted us about conducting their own study. They obtained funding from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and Harvard School of Medicine to conduct a study of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in our area. The results of their study confirmed that cases of Colitis and Crohn’s diagnosed in Northport residents were 11.5 to 15 times higher than in the general population. The physician, Dr. Korzenik, conducting the study said it was the largest IBD cluster he has ever seen.
Dr. Korzenik just received approval and funding from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard School of Medicine for a second IBD epidemiological study of the area. This study will look at levels of heavy metal toxins in hair, fingernail, and blood testing results of Northport residents, coupled with the results of the on-going EPA study results of toxin levels in the air, soil, and water of the area.
The results of this health study could find a link between chronic exposure to certain heavy metal toxins, through multiple routes of exposure, that contribute to triggering the onset of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Two diseases whose causes have perplexed the medical community for decades.
Discovering the cause, or contributing factors, to these diseases is one step closer to finding a cure to these disabling, agonizing illnesses.
A disease I have watched my Dad suffer with my entire life.