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UCLA to lead local study center in landmark government study of child health
Date:10/4/2007

in child health research and policy. The grant will be housed within the division of child health policy and community pediatrics at Mattel Childrens Hospital UCLA. The UCLA-based team of scientific investigators will be joined by collaborating investigators from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the University of Southern California, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, First 5 Los Angeles County, the Ventura County Public Health Department, First 5 Ventura County, the Research Triangle Institute and the Rand Corp.

The NIH has approved $47.9 million to launch the study and enroll 5,000 children in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, in waves of 1,000. The first installment of funding, $14.7 million, will cover the establishment of the study center, a 22-month planning phase and a 38-month enrollment of the first 1,000 children. Actual data collection for this first wave is scheduled to begin in the late summer of 2009.

The National Childrens Study is on a par with other major scientific projects like the Human Genome Project and the Womens Health Study, and the NIH estimates that the studys price tag the over the next 30 years will reach the $3 billion mark. At this point, Congress has yet to authorize the full amount needed for the study and has chosen to provide incremental funding.

While $3 billion is a lot of money, over this 30-year period it will represent less than 1 percent of the NIH annual research budget, said Dr. Michael Lu, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and public health at UCLA and a lead investigator for the study.

Supporters of the study further argue that six of the health conditions the study will target asthma, obesity, schizophrenia, autism, learning disabilities and injuries currently cost the nation more than $600 billion dollars a year. If knowledge resulting from the study was to reduce expenditures for these conditions by 1 per
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Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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