The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development issued a Notice (NOT-HD-16-005) to alert investigators of the availability of the National Children’s Study (NCS) Vanguard Data and Sample Archive and Access System (NCS Archive). The NCS Vanguard served as a pilot for “a planned cohort study of environmental influences on child health and development.” The Vanguard pilot enrolled more than 14,000 participants in more than 5,000 families in 40 locations and followed them until 2014. It includes a collection of more than “14 million records and nearly 19,000 biological and 5,500 primary samples from which a sample repository of over 250,000 items was created.” That information is now available through the NCS Archive for “approved research projects by qualified investigators.” The initial release consists of study data from 2009 -2010. Additional data and sample availability is expected. For more information, see the NCS webpage.
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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has decided to discontinue the National Children’s Study (NCS). At the December 12 meeting of the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), a working group charged by NIH director Francis Collins to evaluate whether the NCS “as currently outlined is feasible, especially in light of increasing and significant budget constraints,” concluded that the NCS as currently designed is not. The working group further recommended “that the NIH champion and support new study designs, informed by advances in technology and basic and applied research, that could make the original goals of the NCS more achievable, feasible, and affordable.” (more…)
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.” (more…)