DWH Oil Spill health impacts presented at Michigan University by Dr. Peters ahead of Hollywood film release.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill health impact shared and featured by Michigan University’s School Public Health with Dr. Peters as Epidemiology invited speaker. 

As theater-goers prepare for the end-of-month opening of the film “Deepwater Horizon,” starring Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson, the University of Michigan School of Public Health will host a researcher who has been assessing the physical and mental health of people living near the deadly 2010 explosion and oil spill.

The seminar will be led by Dr. Edward Peters, program director and professor of epidemiology at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.

The Women and Their Children’s Health Study enrolled approximately 2,800 women and 600 children from seven coastal Louisiana parishes to assess the relationship between exposure to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and physical and mental health status. The study relied upon qualitative, indirect self-reported measures of exposure assessed through nine questions about physical and economic impacts arising from the spill.

In a paper published in Environmental Health Perspectives this month, Peters found that more than 28 percent reported symptoms of depression, 13 percent reported severe mental distress, 16 percent reported an increase in the number of fights with their partners, and 11 percent reported an increase in the intensity of partner fights.

Peters’ presentation will provide an overview of the study design, methodology, statistical analyses and more specific results of the initial analyses.

In addition to his role as chair of the LSU program, Peters is an epidemiologist with the Louisiana Tumor Registry and he established and directs the school’s Epidemiology Data Center, a service core that provides epidemiologic and survey research infrastructure to investigators throughout the region.