Environmental influences on child health outcomes: cohorts of individuals born very preterm

O’Shea TM, McGrath M, Aschner JL, Lester B, Santos HP Jr, Marsit C, Stroustrup A, Emmanuel C, Hudak M, McGowan E, Patel S, Fry RC; program collaborators for Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes.

Pediatr Res. 2022 Aug 10:1–16. doi: 10.1038/s41390-022-02230-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35948605

PubMed Link The National Institutes of Health’s Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program was designed to address solution-oriented research questions about the links between children’s early life environment and their risks of pre-, peri-, and post-natal complications, asthma, obesity, neurodevelopmental disorders, and positive health. Children born very preterm are at increased risk for many of the outcomes on which ECHO focuses, but the contributions of environmental factors to this risk are not well characterized. Three ECHO cohorts consist almost exclusively of individuals born very preterm. Data provided to ECHO from cohorts can be used to address hypotheses about (1) differential risks of chronic health and developmental conditions between individuals born very preterm and those born at term; (2) health disparities across social determinants of health; and (3) mechanisms linking early-life exposures and later-life outcomes among individuals born very preterm. IMPACT: The National Institutes of Health’s Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Program is conducting solution-oriented research on the links between children’s environment and health. Three ECHO cohorts comprise study participants born very preterm; these cohorts have enrolled, to date, 1751 individuals born in 14 states in the U.S. in between April 2002 and March 2020. Extensive data are available on early-life environmental exposures and child outcomes related to neurodevelopment, asthma, obesity, and positive health. Data from ECHO preterm cohorts can be used to address questions about the combined effects of preterm birth and environmental exposures on child health outcomes.