ELGAN (Extremely Low Gestational Age Newborns)

The tiniest of babies making the biggest difference.

Each child enrolled in the ELGAN Study between 2002-2004 provides key information and holds an important piece of the puzzle that together will help us to learn what we can do to promote healthier and more content lives in those born very prematurely. Check out our progress over the years.

Participants were enrolled at birth and followed up until 2 years of age

Learn how the project got started and the important first steps of our research.

Study visit at 10 years of age

Check out what we learned from the first and second phases of ELGAN.

Study visits during adolescence

We are in the midst of collecting and analyzing data in the adolescent life stage (15 years, 17 years and 18 years). Learn more about our current Study.



Participants are 17 years of age

Study visits include collecting anthropometric measurements, lung function testing, and motor functioning activities. Participants are asked to provide saliva, blood, stool, hair, nail, urine, and previously shed baby teeth. Parents and caregivers participate in study visits by completing surveys, questionnaires, and tablet-based puzzles.


Participants are 18+ years of age

The 18-year study visit is a remote (online only) visit, where our teen study participants are completing a short series of questionnaires about their health and well-being and interest in participating in future ELGAN studies. We are taking this opportunity to celebrate ELGANs teen achievements and commemorate 20 years of the ELGAN Study!

Contact your local study coordinator to learn more:

The ELGAN Study, based out of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is conducted in three regions of the country: New England, North Carolina, and the Lake Michigan Area. There are 12 research sites within these three regions.

Find the hospital in your location and contact your local study coordinator.

The Importance of Microbiome Research

Learn what microbes are and why your participation in ELGAN ECHO is so important!

Wait! What is a microbiome? Take a Closer Look.

Learn about ECHO’s five areas of child health research.

See the types of information and specimens collected for ECHO.

Five teenagers socializing at school

The NIH selected ELGAN, along with similar studies in the United States, to join in a study of about 50,000 children to learn about Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). Read more about ECHO.

Return of Results Participant Flyer July 2022
Return of Results Participant Flyer January 2023
Return of Results Participant Flyer July 2023
Return of Results Participant Flyer July 2023 (Spanish)

About the ELGAN ECHO Study

ELGAN researchers have followed over one thousand children born at least 3 months early between 2002 and 2004 at 14 different hospitals in five states. We assessed these premature babies at birth, two, ten, and 15 years of age. We are in the midst of collecting and analyzing data collected when study participants are 17-21 years of age. Read more about the ELGAN ECHO Study.