Environmental Contributors to Child Health Originating from the National Fetal Growth Study (ECCHO-NFGS)

  • Grobman, William A (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Animal and epidemiological studies show that many maternal prenatal experiences (e.g., poor nutrition, stress, elevated environmental pollutants) support the fetal origins of health model in relating adverse maternal experiences to compromised child development. The proposed study leverages the unique resources of the National Fetal Growth Study (NFGS), a cohort of 2397 racially and ethnically diverse women and children studied repeatedly during pregnancy with the collection of serial ultrasound examinations, maternal anthropometry, blood samples for serum lipids, cotinine, caffeine, trace elements and persistent environmental pollutants many of which have endocrine disrupting and neurotoxic properties and psychosocial and nutrition questionnaires with the overall goal of significantly improving our understanding of the associations between different maternal prenatal exposures, fetal developmental trajectories, and childhood health outcomes. In the first two years (UG3 phase), we will focus on the key outcome areas of obesity and neurodevelopment and demonstrate our ability to re-contact, reconsent, collect retrospective data on growth, medical diagnoses and residential histories and begin follow-up of NFGS children who will be ages 4-9 in 2017. In the subsequent five years (UH3 phase), we will follow the children to examine a range of exposures and trajectories of fetal development in association to childhood metabolic and endocrine health and neurobehavioral outcomes. We will use innovative statistical modeling to develop functional standards that predict risk of childhood obesity and neurobehavioral symptoms based on fetal development trajectories and in utero exposures. Our study provides the highest quality and most detailed assessment of fetal development in any available cohort. We will study detailed clinical information, longitudinal maternal biosamples, and continuous assessments of exposome markers of tremendous relevance (nutrition, stress, physical activity, medication and environmental exposures, etc.). It is clear that the prenatal period influences children’s health; follow up of this cohort will allow for an unparalleled opportunity to discover how and why.
Effective start/end date3/1/178/31/20


  • Medical University of South Carolina (A00-2818-S006//5UG3OD023316-02 REVISED)
  • Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health (A00-2818-S006//5UG3OD023316-02 REVISED)


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