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A 25-year investigation on children's health

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The San Diego Union-Tribune recently ran a lengthy article on the National Children’s Study, the largest-ever long-term examination of U.S children's health and development. The 25-year study is being conducted in 105 areas of the country, including San Diego, where researchers from UC San Diego and San Diego State University are recruiting 1,000 pregnant or soon-to-become pregnant women. (Nationwide, around 100,000 children will be part of the trial.)

In the piece, Christina Chambers, PhD, MPH, co-director of the San Diego project, calls the NIH-funded study "unparalleled in terms of size and length of the trial." She and fellow researchers hope their work will yield answers on the causes of childhood diseases and health issues, and they describe in the article the strength of the study design:

Collecting information as a child grows, rather than looking back after a child gets sick, yields much more accurate data and could reveal previously unsuspected culprits for disease, said study co-director Dr. Mel Hovell, director of San Diego State’s Center for Behavioral Epidemiology and Community Health.

“That’s the major reason for doing a long-term study,” Hovell said. “This will be a national and international resource for decades to come.”

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