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National Children's Study

Photo of children running in a field The National Children's Study examines environmental influences on children's health and development. The goal of the Study is to improve the health and well-being of children and help understand the role various environmental factors have on health and disease. The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) leads this long-term research project.

CDC's Division of Laboratory Sciences in the National Center for Environmental Health along with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are partnering to assist with the study.

The National Children's Study is

  • the largest long-term children's study ever conducted in the United States,
  • involves 100,000 children from a representative sample of the population across the United States,
  • observes children from before birth to the age 21, and
  • seeks information to prevent and treat health problems such as autism, birth defects, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

CDC's Division of Laboratory Sciences conducts the measurements for one of the pilot studies. Scientists analyze samples of blood, breast milk, and urine from 525 pregnant mothers and their infants for more than 100 environmental chemicals and nutritional indicators. The data from this study will provide important environmental exposure information on children.

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