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The ECHO Program

The scientific goal of ECHO, a research program launched by the National Institutes of Health, is to understand the effects of a broad range of early environmental influences on child health and development. ECHO uses information from existing longitudinal research projects (cohorts) that will include more than 50,000 children from diverse backgrounds across the United States. Together, these cohorts follow participants from before they are born through childhood and adolescence. ECHO also supports a 17-state clinical trials network to test prevention and treatment strategies among children from rural and medically underserved backgrounds.

Mission

To enhance the health of children for generations to come.

Program Objectives

  • Improve the health of children and adolescents by conducting observational and interventional research that will inform high-impact programs, policies, and practices.
  • Institute best practices for conducting Team Science in the 21st century, giving researchers the tools to work collaboratively to improve child health.

ECHO studies share standardized core data elements.

The core elements to be addressed across all studies include:

  • Demographics
  • Typical early health and development
  • Genetic influences on early childhood health and development
  • Environmental factors
  • Patient (parent/child) Reported Outcomes (PROs)
On August 11th, 2017 the NIH published an RFI seeking feedback from stakeholders and the general public on the ECHO-wide Cohort Data Collection Protocol. The RFI specifically requested feedback and recommendations on the data element concepts, types of biospecimens, and innovative data collection methodology. The NIH received a number of responses from researchers, professional organizations, nonprofit organizations, and research foundations. View the responses to this RFI here. The NIH thanks all responders for their input.

ECHO's Five Health Outcomes

The studies focus on five key pediatric outcomes that have a high public health impact:

  • Pre-, peri-, and postnatal
  • Upper and lower airway
  • Obesity
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Positive Health

Video

News Feed

  • ECHO Program Receives Green Light to Begin Expansive Child Health Research Single institutional review board approves the NIH’s ECHO cohort research to proceed, which promises answers to high-impact research questions related to early influences on child health outcomes. February 1, 2019 The Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) Program today announced it has received single institutional review board (sIRB) approval to begin its research under the ECHO-wide Cohort Data Collection Protocol. The ...
  • ECHO-funded study sheds light on second- and third-hand smoke exposure in kids A recent study funded by the ECHO Program, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and National Institute on Drug Abuse, shows that infants and toddlers in low-income, rural areas may be at higher risk for second- and third-hand smoke than previously reported in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Findings were dependent on the detectable presence ...
  • ‘Current Opinion in Pediatrics’ Publishes Seven Manuscripts from ECHO Program The April 2018 issue of Current Opinion in Pediatrics features seven manuscripts authored by and about the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) research program, supported by the National Institutes of Health. Readers can find each of the manuscripts, one from each active ECHO Program Component, in the journal’s “Therapeutics and Toxicology” section. Together, they offer readers a glimpse ...