To the editor:
We are celebrating a significant milestone at the National Children's Study SDSU Study Center. A total of 200 babies have been born into the Study in the four-county area of Brookings County, South Dakota, Yellow Medicine, Pipestone and Lincoln counties in Minnesota.
I would like to take this time to express my sincere thanks to the nearly 400 women participants from our four counties and the thousands of families that we interviewed two years ago. What these women and their families are doing for the health and well-being of future generations of children in America is priceless.
By participating in the National Children's Study (NCS), these families are helping in the identification of environmental factors that cause or contribute to health, development, and behavior problems, including, but not limited to, asthma, injury, obesity, autism, ADHD and prematurity. The NCS is designed to help us learn more than we've ever known about how the environment affects children's health and development.
The study will help us understand how biology and family history (genetics) affects children's health, development, and behavior. Participants are helping researchers gather evidence-based information on which to base decisions about practice and policy regarding children's physical and mental health in the future. This will lead to economic benefits and building a significant resource for future research.
The SDSU Study Center has completed door-to-door enumeration of 16,000 eligible addresses which began in April 2009. This was the primary method of enrollment for the Study.
We continue to enroll participants who contact our Study Center. We will work with the existing study participants as they grow through age 21.
It is important to reiterate that although we have some information on how the environment impacts adults, there are significant differences between children and adults. Children's bodies are still growing and changing and take in more air, food and water for their weight than adults. In addition, children generally have more outdoor activities. Therefore they may be more likely to be affected by their environment.
When we reach our national goal of 100,000 children, the NCS will be the largest long-term study of children's health ever in the US. No other observational study of children has included such a large nationally representative sample of children from different racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Please learn what you can about the NCS. If you or someone you know may become pregnant in the next five to six years, please contact us to find out if you are eligible. Even if you are not planning to become pregnant, you may be eligible to participate in various research projects.
Whether you participate or not, the more informed you are, the better you are able to encourage people you know to find out if they are eligible.
For more information please visit this website: sdsu.NationalChildrensStudy.gov. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Or, call the SDSU Study Center toll free 877-791-0054 or local 688-5449.
Dr. Bonny Specker
Principal Investigator for
the NCS SDSU Study Center
Chair of the Ethel Austin Martin
Program in Human Nutrition at SDSU