News & AnalysisEpidemiology

Overhaul of U.S. Child Health Study Concerns Investigators

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Science  02 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6072, pp. 1032
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6072.1032

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A controversial health study of 100,000 U.S. children that has struggled for years hit another rough patch last month when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it may modify its sampling plan in 2013 to save money. NIH officials also surprised academic researchers who run some early study sites by telling them last week that they will soon be replaced with a new contractor. The two changes have upset National Children's Study (NCS) investigators, who fear that scientific quality will be compromised—and that shrinking the study's geographical footprint could erode political support. Several study investigators say that NCS seems to be scrapping its 6-year partnership with the academic community.