HUNTERSVILLE – Mayor Jill Swain joined the Murdock Study on May 19 at the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic to show her interest in promoting health and wellness.
The Murdock Study is a community-based research study that offers adults who live in the Cabarrus County region, including Lake Norman zip codes of 28078 and 28036, an opportunity to participate in Duke University research.
The study looks at a personal health snapshot from a large number of people within the community over long periods of time. Doctors and scientists will learn more about how different diseases and disorders affect residents and ways to treat and prevent those diseases.
“If a particular disease is isolated, we can look at environmental factors and compare those with genetic factors,” said Chris Lewis, clinical trials assistant at LNCHC.
Dr. Enya Rentas-Sherman, clinical research coordinator at LNCHC, wants to find out if people’s eating habits, stress levels and overuse of antibiotics play a role in causing certain diseases.
The study also taps into answering questions surrounding major diseases like Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis.
“I believe in the Murdock Study because of my history with Lupus disease,” Swain said. “I know medical research is very important.”
Dr. David Cooke, a clinic founder, showed Swain trends of how today’s generation is unhealthier than past generations.
“Dr. Cooke said to me it would be a legacy to change that trend to make our generation and future generations healthier and happier,” Swain said.
Her participation in the Murdock Study goes hand-in-hand with her involvement in Healthy Huntersville.
Last year, Swain began promoting Healthy Huntersville, a voluntary initiative designed to promote community activities and programs that encourage healthy lifestyles for citizens.
She helped take the lead during Healthy Huntersville’s pilot program in January when she and a group of people from Carolina’s Health Care, Novant Health and HFFA worked together to change diets, increase workouts and measure progress.
“We all tried to walk 10,000 steps a day and partnered with someone who would be our ‘buddy’ and motivator,” Swain said.
She hopes all her efforts in health and wellness programs will inspire Huntersville residents to think twice about their daily eating habits and consider taking part in some type of physical activity.
“If Healthy Huntersville and the Murdock Study can contribute to that and get others involved, just imagine what is in store for other generations.”
More than 10,200 people have joined the Murdock Study. Rentas-Sherman hopes the participant number will reach 50,000 in the coming years as she plans to conduct further studies pertaining to memory and pharmaceuticals.
Lewis said participants of the study benefit from knowing they can help researchers make discoveries about diseases that affect the lives of people everywhere.
“We hope the satisfaction of helping other generations will pass on,” he said. “We are doing what we can to make the world a better place.”
About the Murdock Study: Residents will participate voluntarily in a one-time visit, lasting 45-60 minutes. A trained person will work one-on-one with each participant. Requirements include:
• A completed annual health questionnaire and medical form for updated health information.
• A measurement of blood pressure, pulse and waist circumference.
• A collection of a urine sample and three tablespoons of blood.
Participants will be contacted once a year to update personal health information and up to four times a year to participate in additional studies.