Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO)


Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) is a seven year national research initiative sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to determine what factors give children the highest likelihood of achieving the best health outcomes over their lifetimes. “What makes ECHO special is our commitment to informing programs, policies, and practices that enhance the health of children for generations to come,” said ECHO Director Matthew W. Gillman. The goal of ECHO is to investigate how environmental exposures early in life – including physical, chemical, social, behavioral, biological, natural, and built environments – affect child health and development in a diverse population.

ECHO focuses on five key pediatric outcomes that have a high public health impact:

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

ECHO-Pregnancy Study

The SC ECHO team is one of 45 cohort sites across the United States that will be participating in the ECHO program. To begin this seven-year project, researchers at MUSC will recruit over 500 pregnant-persons and their resulting children. This cohort team is being led by Dr. Kelly J. Hunt and Dr. Roger Newman and includes scientists from public health, OB-GYN, and pediatrics who will then follow the pregnant-persons and resulting children, monitoring their health.

The ECHO Pregnancy Study group will work to gather data for three key goals:

  1. To determine the joint impact of prenatal exposure to chemical mixtures and early gestational and life exposures (i.e., hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth) on child obesity and metabolic health
  2. To identify racial/ethnic disparities in prenatal chemical exposures and their sources (dietary choices/opportunities, use of consumer good and personal care products, occupation, air/water) among participants in the ECHO cohort
  3. To determine the association of mixtures of pre-conceptual and peri-conceptual chemical exposures measured in both partners with hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, preterm birth, and child obesity  


Contact Us

If you would like more information about the ECHO-Pregnancy Study or ECHO in general, please contact us.

Contact: Melinda Jarnecke, Program Manager for ECHO-Pregnancy Study
Email: echosc@musc.edu
Phone: 854-253-6383
ECHO-Pregnancy Study
Department of Public Health Sciences
135 Cannon Street, Suite 303, MSC 835
Charleston, SC 29425