Federal funding for the National Children’s Study

April 26, 2010

Hon. Tom Harkin
Chairman
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education
and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. Thad Cochran
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS,
Education and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20510

Hon. David Obey
Chairman
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education
and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515

Hon. Todd Tiahrt
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Labor, HHS,
and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Harkin, Ranking Member Cochran, Chairman Obey, and Ranking Member Tiahrt:

The undersigned organizations respectfully request that you provide FY2011 funding of $194.4 million for the National Children's Study (NCS) within the National Institutes of Health Office of the Director, as proposed by the Presidentís Budget. This funding will allow for the completion of the pilot phase of the NCS.

As you know, the National Children's Study is the largest and most comprehensive study of children's health and development ever planned in the United States. Currently, the "vanguard centers" are recruiting pregnant women and over 150 children have been born into the study. When fully implemented, this study will follow a representative sample of 100,000 children from across the United States from before birth until age 21. The data generated will inform the work of scientists in universities and research organizations, helping them identify precursors to disease and to develop new strategies for prevention and treatment. Identifying the root causes of many childhood diseases and conditions, including preterm birth, asthma, obesity, heart disease, injury and diabetes, will reduce health care costs and improve the health of children.

We applaud and appreciate the $193.8 million appropriated for this study in the FY10 Consolidated Appropriations Act. While we recognize that federal resources are extremely constrained, it is crucial that Congress fully fund the pilot phase of the National Children's Study and thereby continue to demonstrate its commitment to this extremely valuable research and to America's children. Thank you again for your continued support of child and adolescent health research.

Sincerely,

American Academy of Pediatrics
March of Dimes Foundation
American Chemistry Council
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Educational Research Association
American Heart Association
American Psychological Association
Autism Society
Autism Speaks
American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
American Pediatric Association
American Pediatric Society
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Population Centers
Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation
CHADD Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Consortium of Social Science Associations
First Candle/SIDS Alliance
FRAXA Research Foundation
Jeffrey Modell Foundation
Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation
National Association of Childrenís Hospitals
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Osteoporosis Foundation
National Psoriasis Foundation
Population Association of America
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association
Society for Adolescent Health & Medicine
Society for Pediatric Research
Spina Bifida Association

Most common questions

What federal agencies are involved in premature birth research?

Multiple federal agencies support prematurity-related research but among the most engaged are the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health and Maternal and Infant Health Research within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Where can I learn more about the National Children's Study?

The March of Dimes has advocated for the study since its inception, realizing the critical information that will come from systematically examining the effects of environmental and other influences on the health and development of 100,000 children across the United States.

Why is the data collected from birth certificates important?

Information that is collected on birth certificates is vital to understand trends, to determine the infant mortality rate, and to guide decisions for intervention programs and for research. State laws require birth certificates to be completed for all births, and federal law mandates national collection and publication of births and other vital statistics data by the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more on the NCHS website and understand the strict privacy standards covering individuals.

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