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.
To enhance the health of children for generations to come.
- 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:
- Typical early health and development
- Genetic influences on early childhood health and development
- Environmental factors
- Person-Reported Outcomes (PROs)
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
- Positive Health
- ECHO Researchers Analyze Potential Toxicity of Chemicals, Discover Gaps in Chemical Research In a recent article in Environmental Health Perspectives, ECHO researchers discuss their work on identifying and ranking chemicals that have not been biomonitored nationally but may negatively affect child health. Biomonitoring is a process that detects chemicals that people are exposed to and measures how much of those chemicals get into the body. To collect information, researchers examined different environmental elements ...
- International Journal Highlights ECHO’s Novelty and Necessity in Obesity Research A recent article on childhood obesity in the US, published in the International Journal of Obesity, details results from an ECHO study of more than 37,000 babies and kids and describes the unique features that make the ECHO Program exceptionally valuable for obesity research. The authors note that ECHO “holds promise to provide insight into the mechanisms that promote overweight and ...
- ECHO Researchers Identify Gaps in Prenatal Opioid Exposure Research This week, Pediatrics published results from ECHO researcher Elisabeth Conradt and her team’s efforts to learn more about prenatal opioid exposure and its effects on child development. Conradt and her team reviewed 52 publications to summarize what is known and make suggestions on how to expand knowledge in this area. The resulting article includes perspectives on how the ECHO Program ...