National Children's Study
The National Children’s Study (NCS) will examine the effects of environmental influences on the health and development of more than 100,000 children across the United States, following them from before birth until age 21. The goal of the Study is to improve the health and well-being of children.
The Study defines “environment” broadly and will take a number of issues into account, including:
- natural and man-made environmental factors
- biological and chemical factors
- physical surroundings
- social factors
- behavioral influences and outcomes
- cultural and family influences and differences
- geographic locations
Researchers will analyze how these elements interact with each other and what helpful and/or harmful effects they might have on children’s health.
By studying children through their different phases of growth and development, researchers will be better able to understand the role of these environmental factors on health and disease. The Study will also allow scientists to find the differences that exist between groups of people, in terms of their health, health care access, disease occurrence, and other issues, so that these differences or disparities can be addressed.
The National Children’s Study will be one of the richest research efforts geared towards studying children’s health and development and will form the basis of child health guidance, interventions, and policy for generations to come. Findings from the Study will be made available as the research progresses, making potential benefits known to the public as soon as possible.
The National Children’s Study is led by a consortium of federal partners: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Acting Director of the study is Steven Hirschfeld, MD, PhD.
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