The National Children’s Study is the largest, long-term study of children’s health ever conducted in the United States. It will follow 100,000 children from pre-birth to 21-years-old. The study will enroll women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the next few years.
Mandated by Congress in 2000, the National Children’s Study has been in the planning and pilot stage until now. The study is led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – through the NIH and the CDC – and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The focus of the study is to better understand how the environment, in general, influences genetics and the health and development of children. The observational study will monitor a large number of women during their pregnancy and follow the children after birth and collect information about each family and their environment. The goal is to create a large knowledge base to help scientists understand multiple childhood disorders, which may lead to better ways to prevent and/or treat these conditions.
“As a community, we have the opportunity to contribute to a national resource toward understanding childhood health and development,” Dorr Dearborn, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and the Mary Ann Swetland professor of environmental health sciences, chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and director of the Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health at the School of Medicine; pediatrician at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital; and principal investigator of the Study Center, stated in a press release.