COSSA Weighs in on National Children’s Study Framework

On October 26, COSSA sent a letter to the National Children’s Study (NCS) Working Group, a subgroup of the National Institutes of Health Advisory Council to the Director, outlining concerns with the NCS framework and raising other issues for consideration as the working group progresses with its review the program. As the letter states, “the NCS has the potential to become an invaluable resource, yielding new insights into the complex linkages between social, genetic, and environmental factors and how these factors interact to influence health, growth and development across the life course. To ensure the study produces meaningful data, the NCS study design is paramount.” COSSA believes that the “benefits associated with drawing a representative sample in the NCS far outweigh its incremental costs.”

The Working Group is charged with “evaluating whether the NCS is feasible, as currently outlined, especially in light of increasing and significant budget constraints.” If the Working Group thinks that it is feasible, it is asked to assess “how NIH can move forward to implement necessary changes,” including some of those outlined in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report (see Update, June 30, 2014). Conversely, if it feels that the study is not feasible, the Working Group is asked to identify “whether there are new methods to answer key research questions that are most important to pediatric health today that capitalize on research and technology advances developed in the intervening years since the inception of the study.”

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