The largest long-term children’s health study in United States history has launched in Michigan. Wayne County is the Michigan county participating in the National Children’s Study. Genesee, Grand Traverse, Lenawee and Macomb will also join over the next several years. The study aims to document how social and environmental factors affect children’s health. Dr. Nigel Paneth, principal investigator of the Michigan Alliance for the National Children’s Study, says the study will look at childhood medical conditions including cerebral palsy, autism and asthma. But he says the study’s goal isn’t to find cures for those diseases.
“The goal of the children’s study is to learn how to prevent these diseases in the first place. By studying disease not when it happens, but before it happens, we can get to the basic roots of the problem.”
The study will track 100,000 children of different backgrounds from across the country. Researchers will track children and their environments from pre-birth to age 21.