NIH Unveils 22 New Study Centers in National Children's Study

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The National Children's Study announced today that it awarded contracts in late September to 22 new study centers to manage participant recruitment and data collection in 26 additional communities across the United States. Funding for the new study centers and the study's initial phase is a result of a $69 million appropriation from Congress in fiscal year 2007.

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The National Children's Study is the largest study to be conducted on the effects of environmental and genetic factors on child and human health in the United States. The study will follow a representative sample of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21, seeking information to prevent and treat some of the nation's most pressing health problems, including autism, birth defects, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

"The National Children's Study is poised to identify the early antecedents of a broad array of diseases that affect both children and adults," said Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health. "Such insights will lead to the means to successfully treat and even prevent conditions that to date have defied our best efforts."

"Today's announcement represents a milestone for the National Children's Study," said Duane Alexander, M.D., Director of the NIH's National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, at today's briefing. "The addition of new study centers will move the study closer to its goal of recruiting more than 100,000 children representative of the entire population of American children.

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