These questions are pulled from the post-clinic surveys filled out by you (the participants)!!!

Q: What does the CYGNET Study stand for?

A: CYGNET stands for The Cohort of Young Girls' Nutrition, Environment and Transitions Study. Check our the history page to learn more about the study!

Q: Does the CYGNET study look at breast cancer or puberty?

A: The CYGNET study is focused on how factors in our environment, our lifestyles and our genes affect when girls start puberty. CYGNET is one of the studies that is funded as part of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) because starting puberty early may be a risk factor for getting breast cancer later in life. However, CYGNET does not look at breast cancer in our participants. Learn more about what CYGNET studies on the history page.

Q: Why is CYGNET important?

A: CYGNET is important because it will help researchers learn:

  1. if girls are going through puberty at a younger age
  2. if so, why girls are going through puberty earlier

Q: How were CYGNET participants selected?

A: Participants are girls who were born at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Four hundred and forty four girls signed up with their parents when they were between the ages of 6 and 8 years old. Learn a little bit more about who our participants are and about their statistics.

Q: Why should I continue participating in CYGNET?

A: It is important that you keep participating in CYGNET so that we can collect as much information as possible to get a better understanding of what factors influence the onset of puberty. No study like this has been done before. Although the study has already established that there are environmental chemicals present in girls' bodies, it is important to keep collecting data to see if these chemical levels change over time and if exposure to these chemicals is associated with changes during puberty. This information can help you and other girls in the future. You can learn more about why participating is important at BCERP.

Q: What are the different aspects of the study and what is the purpose of each test?

A: There are questions that your parents answer as well as questions that you answer. Additionally, there is one clinic visit each year in which we collect urine samples, body measurements, and assess where participants are in the stages of puberty. You can learn more about what to expect and why we look at each aspect of the study by reviewing What to Expect at Clinic.

Q: Who is conducting the study?

A: The study is being funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute as part of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program. The puberty study is being conducted by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research and other institutions locally and across the country. You can learn more about who researchers and study staff are by checking out the Researchers page.

Q: Where does the data go?

A: After the data is collected, it goes to researchers at Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research and their collaborators so that they can analyze it to find out what it means.

Q: What results have been found so far?

A: You can learn more about what researchers have found from the CYGNET study on the Articles page.

Q: How does CYGNET share its results with the public

A: CYGNET researchers share their results in several different ways. They publish their results in articles in scientific journals to share what they've learned with other researchers. They also talk to journalists and newspapers about what they've found, so the information goes out to the public. Finally, they work with Zero Breast Cancer, who serves as the Community Outreach and Translation Core (COTC) of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program in the Bay Area, to create and share tools and materials to help the public learn about research findings.

Q: How long will the study keep going?

A: The study does not have an end date. We hope that you will continue to participate, and that we will be able to follow you, for many years to come. As the study is funded by the National Institute of Health, when we receive grant funds, they usually last for up to five years at a time. We have renewed the study successfully once, and hope to again.

Q: What are some similar studies?

A: Similar studies on puberty that are part of BCERP are being conducted at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio (Growing Up Female) and at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. You can learn more about them on the BCERP website.

Q: What is the Youth Advisory Board?

A: The Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is a group of 22 CYGNET participants who work with study staff to make sure that study activities and events are all looked at with a youth's perspective and adapted to the interests and needs of young women. All CYGNET participants were invited to apply to be a part of the YAB and members were randomly chosen to reflect the diversity of our participants in race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and geographic location. Learn more about YAB.

Q: How can we contribute even if we aren't in the YAB?

A: You can contribute to the CYGNET by attending your clinic visit every year and actively participating in the study. You can also attend Teen Talk events to participate in a fun and informative activity and interact with other participants and the research staff. Finally, you can contribute by writing or sharing articles about relevant health topics or events you find interesting for the CYGNET Newsletters or for the website's Teen Health section on subjects like health, fitness, nutrition, and environmental exposures.