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Viewpoint |

In the Aftermath of the National Children’s Study

James M. Perrin, MD1,2; Sarosh P. Batlivala, MD3,4; Tina L. Cheng, MD, MPH5,6
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
2MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Boston, Massachusetts
3Department of Pediatric Cardiology, The Children’s Heart Center, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson
4Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson
5Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland
6Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Pediatr. 2015;169(6):519-520. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0272.
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This Viewpoint discusses the need for longitudinal study of early exposures on child and family development and future health and well-being.

The Golden Globe Best Picture winner, Boyhood, illustrates the power and impact of a longitudinal study of early exposures on child and family development and future health and well-being. The Children’s Health Act (CHA) of 2000 recognized the need for such research and supported a large longitudinal study called the National Children’s Study (NCS). The overarching goal of the NCS was to better understand how childhood environmental exposures impacted growth and development. However, the study never fully launched, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) decided in December 2014 to “orderly close” the endeavor, marking a tremendous missed opportunity.1

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