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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Bush proposal rejects National Children’s Study funding

President Bush’s 2007 budget proposal did not recommend funding for the National Children’s Study, for which the U was chosen to be a study site.

Study coordinators say the financial setback won’t stop the study from going forward, but it could have negative repercussions down the road.

“This is an unfortunate error that could have significant consequences to the future health of our nation’s children,” said Leo Transande, co-investigator for the study at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.

The National Children’s Study is a nationwide study of 100,000 children that will track psychological, social, environmental and genetic factors on several prevalent childhood and adult diseases. The study will follow children from pre-birth to age 21 and address causes of diseases such as diabetes, autism, asthma and obesity.

The U was named as one of six vanguard sites for the study and is expected to enroll about 1,250 children.

Edward B. Clark of Primary Children’s Medical Center said many budget cuts were made for children’s health care.

“It’s part of the budget battle going on in Washington, (D.C.),” he said.

The national study is currently funded until September of 2006, but needs $69 million to launch the recruitment of pregnant women willing to participate in the study with their children.

Clark described the failure to fund the children’s study as “immoral” and “broadly perceived as short-sided and cynical.”

The funding setback has not stopped the study, however, and the investigators are still “deeply engaged in study protocol, pilot studies and recruitment,” Clark said.

The study enlisted the help of lobbyist John Edward Porter, a former Illinois congressman, in its efforts to get Congress to reject Bush’s proposal and fund the study.

“We’re not going to stop until Congress tells us otherwise,” Transande said.

The children’s study has had “wonderful support” from Congress for the last five years, Transande said.

Clark said they are still confident about the study getting funding and are continuing to work diligently to lay the groundwork for the study, which was scheduled to begin in 2007.

“The National Children’s Study is the best opportunity to provide possible causes for these diseases and has the potential to save children’s lives and millions of dollars in health-care costs,” Transande said.

The six diseases the study will focus on currently amount to $642 billion in health-care costs every year.

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