Antony Botello has done more than his bit in the name of health and well-being science, from before he was even born.
Twenty-six year old Antony, from Mosman Park, is part of the Raine Study and has been since his mother was pregnant with him.
He was recently the 1000th member of the Raine Study’s “Generation 2” cohort to participate in a series of health tests as part of the study’s “Generation 2, 27 year old follow up”, which is focussed on the genetic and early life factors that predict cardio-metabolic health and disease.
2900 pregnant women (Generation 1) were recruited into the study from 1989 to 1991 and participants, like Antony, have been involved in follow-ups and tests from birth through to young adulthood.
“Having been a part of the Raine Study my whole life, I feel incredibly privileged to be a young Australian who can volunteer his time to contribute to the significant and vital medical research the Raine Study conducts.
“I can proudly say I would be more than happy to devote my time to any future follow-ups for the rest of my life. Being a member of this group is a unique opportunity and the research not only benefits my own understanding of my health, but also provides important insight into the population’s health and well-being,” Antony said.
Antony has been involved in all follow-ups, so has undergone a series of tests at ages 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 25 and now 27 years of age.
His most memorable follow-up was at 22 years of age, when he was involved a sleep study, including an overnight stay to assess sleeping patterns.
“It is hard to forget falling asleep with so many wires and medical research devices attached to your body!” he said.
Antony said when his pregnant Mother was first asked to sign up to take part in the Raine Study, she was more than happy to agree as she saw the merits and potential of what the study was setting out to achieve.
“Since then as a family we have always been keen to learn about new research that has emerged with every follow-up conducted by the Raine Study as we feel we have personally contributed to these findings,” he said.
“My family are all proud members of the Raine Study and later in life, when I am a parent, I too would be proud to have my child be a member of the Raine Study.”
The Raine Study is one of the most richly detailed prospective multi-generational cohorts of pregnancy, childhood, adolescence and now early adulthood to be carried out anywhere in the world. It was established in 1989 to determine how events during pregnancy and childhood influence health in later life.
Four generations of families are now involved in the study with data collected on Grandparents (Generation 0), Parents (Generation 1), Children (Generation 2) and now Grandchildren (Generation 3) from the same family.
With over 500 research papers published since that time, some key findings have included: Establishing the safety of ultrasounds and the standard of prenatal ultrasound scanning worldwide; the identification of genes associated with lung function, birthweight, puberty and language development; the benefits of breastfeeding on weight, asthma, allergies and behavioural problems; the impact of diet on behaviour and school achievement in teenagers; the impact of Vitamin D levels on allergies and asthma; and the benefits of organised sport as a child as a trajectory to health in adulthood.
The 27-year follow-up that Antony has been involved in includes a range of questionnaires, blood tests, urine samples, faecal samples, MRI scans, full body DXA scans, 3D photography of his faces and more.
Researchers are currently looking into many other areas of study including gut health, vision, mental health, spinal pain, blood vessel health, activity and sleep as well as work habits.