Largest Ever National Children's Study to Begin
At a briefing Tuesday, National Institutes of Health announced that the first phase of recruitment for the study is beginning in Duplin County, N.C., and Queens, N.Y.
The study will track the health and development of children from before birth through to their 21st birthday. The remaining five Vanguard Centers, including the Waukesha County Vanguard Center, will begin recruiting and enrolling women to participate in the study in April.
"Large scale studies like this have the potential to yield insight into the development of conditions ranging from asthma to autism," said Maureen Durkin, a UW-Madison professor of Population Health and co-principal investigator for the Waukesha County site. "Waukesha families will contribute to an understanding of childhood health problems and an understanding of how best to improve the health of American children."
The large size and prospective nature of the study should yield information that smaller and more limited studies cannot. For example, because of the large number of individuals enrolled, the study has the capability to assess uncommon disorders, as well as how exposures to different environmental conditions and genetic factors may interact.
The National Children's Study was authorized by Congress in the Children's Health Act of 2000. In addition to the NICHD, other members of the consortium carrying out the study are the NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
When it is fully operational, the National Children's Study is expected to have roughly 40 study centers recruiting volunteers from 105 designated study locations throughout the U.S. The study locations are counties and clusters of counties chosen by National Children's Study researchers to be representative of children in the United States.
Date Published: 04/30/2009