Protocol for The International Cohort on Lifestyle Determinants of Health Study: A Longitudinal Investigation of Complementary and Integrative Health Utilization in Postsecondary Education Students.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.), 2020
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Objectives: The specific aims are: 1) To characterize the health, wellness, and lifestyle of graduate and undergraduate students, and how these characteristics change over time; 2) To evaluate associations between lifestyle factors and gut microbiota populations and diversity; and 3) To evaluate associations between stress and stress management practices with sleep habits, quality of life, and overall health. Design: The International Cohort on Lifestyle Determinants of Health (INCLD Health) longitudinal cohort study is designed to assess health behaviors and lifestyle practices amongst adults studying complementary and integrative health (CIH) and higher-education students more generally after at least one to six years of exposure to CIH education. INCLD Health will adhere to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) guidelines. Settings/Location: Colleges and universities with a CIH focus or interest with the flagship site being the National University of Natural Medicine. Participants: Adults currently enrolled in a college or university with a CIH focus or interest. Outcome Measures: Study visits will be conducted at baseline, 6 months, then every 12 months until the end of each participants' degree program. Measures include anthropometrics; serum and salivary biomarkers of cardiovascular risk, reproductive hormones, and cortisol; nutritional intake measured by a digital food frequency questionnaire; sequencing of fecal microbiota; plus validated questionnaires investigating mood, perceived stress, stress management practices, physical activity, sleep, and wellness. Conclusions: The INCLD Health Study, approved by the NUNM IRB in late 2018, will enroll a unique cohort of adults to characterize the use of CIH practices in relation to short- and long-term health. Our study design provides a breadth of information that could be implemented at multiple sites internationally allowing for comparisons across diverse student cohorts with relatively low cost and personnel.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: