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 What is the National Children's Study?

December 12, 2014 Dear Participant in the Vanguard Study of the National Children’s Study, I am writing to let you know about some important new developments that affect your participation in the Vanguard Study.  As you may remember, the Vanguard Study was designed to enroll about 5,000 children to help researchers decide on the best design for the larger National Children’s Study.  Ultimately, the National Children’s Study planned to enroll a total of 100,000 children who would each participate until age 21, so that we could learn more about how environmental factors influence child health and development.    Recently, a group of independent experts reviewed the plans for the National Children’s Study and determined that moving forward with the larger study would not be the best way to add to our understanding of how environmental factors influence child health and development.  The National Institutes of Health (NIH) takes these recommendations seriously and, as a result, we have decided not to launch the larger National Children’s Study and not to continue the Vanguard Study.  This means we will stop collecting new information from participants in the Vanguard Study.  Dr. David Murray, NIH Associate Director for Prevention, has been appointed, effectively immediately, to manage this orderly closure of the National Children’s Study.  NIH will continue to support research to address the important health and environmental goals of the National Children’s Study.  Also, all of the valuable information and specimens that you and your family have contributed will be stored and made available to scientists to further our understanding about environment and health.  What you have contributed already will continue to increase our understanding of child health and development for many years to come.  However, you will not be asked to participate in any additional National Children’s Study visits.  As always, we will protect your privacy and keep information about you safe.  On behalf of NIH and the broader research community, we sincerely thank you for your time, effort, and dedication to participating in biomedical research. These activities are critical for advancing our knowledge about human health and disease. If you have questions about any of this, please email or call 1-877­865-2619. Alan E. Guttmacher, M.D. Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health