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July 26, 2011

National Children’s Study Underway in Montgomery County, and Across the U.S.

Largest Observational Study Aims to Improve Children’s Health Over Generations

The National Children’s Study (NCS) – a study funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and congressionally mandated in 2000 – is underway in our own backyard.

Montgomery County is one of more than 100 study locations across the nation that will enroll pregnant women to observe how the environment and genetics affect their children’s health and well being from before birth to age 21.  The research project, led locally by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with offices at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Montgomery County Campus in Rockville, Md., is part of the largest and most detailed study on children’s health and development ever attempted in the U.S.

The National Children’s Study will examine the effects of the environment and genetics on the growth, development and health of children across the U.S. The goal of the study is to provide a wealth of data that will lead to a better understanding of the role various factors have on health and disease. Data from the study will contribute to the research of conditions such as pre-term birth, asthma, obesity, diabetes, as well as other health and behavior outcomes.

Residents of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area may already have heard about the study from public service announcements, newspaper and Metro ads and social media activity. The ongoing awareness campaign encourages area families to contact the Study Center to get more information.  In Montgomery County, the Hopkins-run Study Center hopes to enroll 1,000 pregnant women into the study over the next few years.  The study is observational, so no medications will be given.  Voluntary participation in the National Children’s Study involves periodic questionnaires done primarily by phone, some home visits, and collection of soil, dust and water samples from the child’s environment, as well as some biological samples.  

Researchers believe that the study is likely to form the cornerstone of child health policy for generations to come. The study will help to provide critical information to assist in the development of prevention strategies, health and safety guidelines and future research. Montgomery County is one of 105 counties across the country that has been selected to participate in this groundbreaking study.
We would be happy to provide your news outlet with more detailed information regarding this important study and our area’s participation.  We can provide:

For more information, please visit maryland.nationalchildrensstudy.gov.

Media contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhsph.edu. Media contact for the National Children's Study: Meredith Resnick at 202-549-0807 or mresnick3@verizon.net.