US cancels plan to study 100 000 children from “womb” to age 21

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 19 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7775
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The US National Institutes of Health has cancelled its ambitious National Children’s Study, which aimed to follow 100 000 children from the “womb” to age 21 to assess the effects of environmental, biological, and social factors on child development and health. Francis Collins, NIH director, announced the decision on 12 December after an expert panel concluded that the project was not feasible.

More than $1.3bn (£0.8bn; €1bn) had been allocated to the study, which had been in development for nearly a decade. Although a 40 center pilot project called the Vanguard Study had been launched in 2007 to test the initiative’s methods and approaches, the main study was …

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