The Wayne County Health Environment Allergy and Asthma Longitudinal Study

The Wayne County Health, Environment, Allergy, and Asthma Longitudinal Study (WHEALS) is a large, racially and ethnically diverse general-risk birth cohort established in 2003 with funding from National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The overall objective of WHEALS was to relate early life environmental factors to biological markers associated with risk for pediatric allergy and asthma. In establishing the WHEALS birth cohort, staff recruited pregnant women between the all women ages 21-45 years who were scheduled for prenatal visits at a Henry Ford Health System clinic and expected to deliver during the recruitment period (September 2003-December 2007).

To date, over 1000 families from across metropolitan Detroit remain enrolled in the study! In the near future, WHEALS children between the ages of 9 and 11 years will be invited in for a follow-up clinic visit as part of the MAAP study to undergo various diagnostic and clinical tests related to possible changes in allergy risk. In addition, several spin-off studies using WHEALS data, including projects exploring food allergy, ancestry informative markers linked to asthma, and metals exposure in baby teeth, have been launched.

WHEALS investigators involved in this study include

Principal Investigator

  • Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH


  • Kevin Bobbitt, Ph.D.
  • Andrea Cassidy, Ph.D.
  • Christine Joseph, Ph.D.
  • Suzanne Havstad, M.A.
  • Edward Peterson, Ph.D.
  • Ganesa Wegienka, Ph.D.
  • Kim Woodcroft, Ph.D.
  • Edward Zoratti, M.D.

Please direct any inquiries to the WHEALS Research Manager, Kyra Jones, at (313) 874-7390,

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