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March 2017

In the Aftermath of the National Children’s StudyIs Large Birth Cohort Data Still a Priority?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Nuffield Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
  • 2Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
  • 3The Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(3):214-215. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.3968

The 2014 decision to stop the US National Children’s Study (NCS)1 brings to the forefront questions about what has been lost and how studies such as this might still be important almost 20 years after initiation in 2000. The rationale then was clear.2 Little progress had been made in the previous decades in understanding the causes of many major childhood disorders, and there was insufficient evidence available to confidently mount interventions to prevent many of them. A lack of evidence from cohort studies with prospective data had left a major evidence gap in childhood disease etiology, in stark contrast to efforts involving successful research on adult diseases where cohort studies were a central component.

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