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Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine launches the National Children's Study

Residents of Cuyahoga County, and later Lorain County, will soon have the opportunity to contribute to the establishment of a national resource for childhood growth and development. 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 National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.

Managed by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the local Cuyahoga County branch of the National Children's Study Center, and the future Lorain County branch, will oversee the community project. It will include every birthing hospital, health department and medical provider system for each county involved in the study. To reflect the scope of each county population, enrollment will be targeted to certain pre-selected geographic segments determined by the National Study Center. Study recruiters will visit each household in neighborhoods selected to represent Cuyahoga County over the next few months. Participation in the study will be rewarding in a number of waysprimarily by knowing that one's family will be helping to improve the lives of future generations. The Center encourages those women who are eligible to participate and contribute to the well-being of all children. They can do so by allowing the National Children's Study team to observe the growth and development of their own child. Modest financial awards will be provided in appreciation of each family's participation. Pilot recruitment begins in Cuyahoga County on January, 10, 2011. To enquire about participation and eligibility, call 888.506.8541. Further information can be found at

"As a community, we have the opportunity to contribute to a national resource toward understanding childhood health and development," says 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.


Contact: Jessica Studeny
Case Western Reserve University

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