The University of Minnesota has been named a lead study center in the National Children’s Study, which will assess the effects of environmental and genetic factors on health in the United States. Along with that designation will come $14 million over five years to support the research.
The study, a collaboration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is the largest and most comprehensive study of child and human health in the nation’s history.
“What we learn will help not only children and families in Minnesota but also children across the country,” says Patricia McGovern, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., principal investigator for the University’s part of the study and a professor in the School of Public Health. “Findings from the study will provide critically important information for children’s health researchers, health-care providers, public health practitioners, and policymakers working to improve health and quality of life for children nationwide.”
The National Children’s Study eventually will follow a representative sample of 100,000 children from before birth to age 21, seeking information to prevent and treat some of the country’s most pressing health problems, including asthma, autism, birth defects, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
For its part of the study, the University will follow 1,000 Ramsey County children from before birth through their 21st birthdays.