A ground-breaking national study that would track the health of children from birth to adulthood may not happen after all.

Researchers hoped information gained from the study, which was set to start this year, could offer insights about “how children can grow up healthy and how being a healthy child can lead to being a healthy adult.” The study would follow 100,000 children from birth to age 21. Women who were pregnant or likely to be pregnant were recruited in different regions.

Congress ordered the National Children’s Study in 2000, to gather data that could lead to strategies about how to prevent childhood illnesses like asthma, autism and attention deficit disorder. Until now, the researchers were working on design and recruitment strategies. But the 21-year longitudinal study has been put on hold over concerns about its costs and whether the research methods planned are outdated, Kaiser Health News reports.

In July, an Institute of Medicine report raised questions about whether the study should move forward as it’s currently designed.

A National Institutes of Health working group is investigating these issues and will recommend whether to proceed with the study, Kaiser Health News reports.


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