National Children’s Health Study Requires Additional Funds
The National Children's Study -- launched last year to allow researchers to track 100,000 U.S. children from before birth to age 21 to determine the role of environmental factors on children's health -- requires additional funds to continue, supporters said on Tuesday at a congressional briefing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. CDC and other sponsors expected that the data obtained from the study, such as information on links between diseases and their causes, would reduce health care costs by more than the $2.7 billion total cost of the research.
However, Congress last year only approved $12 million of the $27 million requested for the study for fiscal year 2005, and President Bush this year has proposed to spend $12 million for FY 2006 -- less than one-fifth of the $67 million requested. Peter Scheidt, lead researcher for the study, said that researchers might not have the ability to continue past the initial steps of participant recruitment without additional funds. Leonardo Trasande, assistant director of the Center for Children's Health and Environment at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said, "It will not make sense to proceed" with the study without additional funds, adding, "This is really our best hope for finally understanding the role of environmental toxins and other factors on our children's health" (Nesmith, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 5/11).