NIH Funds $28M for National Study on Adolescent Health

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UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Population Center has received a five-year, $28 million grant for the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health – the largest, most comprehensive longitudinal study of adolescent health ever undertaken in the U.S. Researchers began extensive interviews with a nationally representative sample of 20,000 students in grades 7 to12 in 1994.

The study, known as Add Health, has provided data for more than 2,000 scientific papers by more than 10,000 researchers around the world. These papers have mapped the obesity epidemic, brought the silent epidemic of high blood pressure in young adults into public awareness, and pioneered work on how adolescents’ social and behavioral lives interact with their genetic makeup.

Starting in 2015, the five-year project will collect new social and biological data from the original participants, who will be in their 30s at that time, capturing information on their birth and early childhood experiences. This will create an invaluable 40-year longitudinal record of them, from birth through their fourth decade of life. The new funding, from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, will allow researchers to better understand how teens’ health, social experiences, genetic profile and living environment might influence their health and behavior later in adulthood.

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Categories: Development, Family Health, Fit Family Challenge, Health, Health & Wellness, Health and Development, Nutrition, Tweens and Teens