NYU Women's Health Study

Lead Contact and/or Principal Investigator (PI):

Funded Since: 1985
Funding Source: NCI Extramural Program (Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences; CA098661External Web Site Policy and CA081212External Web Site Policy)
Year(s) of Enrollment: 1985-1991
Study Website: http://nyuwhs.med.nyu.edu/External Web Site Policy

For more than 25 years, the NYU Women’s Health Study has been committed to studying the potential causes of serious diseases in women in the United States. When the study began in 1985, its goal was to identify the role of hormones and diet in the development of the most common cancers in women, especially breast cancer. Today, the aims of the NYU Women’s Health Study have expanded to include the study of both blood and genetic markers in relation to cancer and other diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and osteoporotic fractures. The ultimate aim is to identify potential prevention strategies for these diseases.

The NYU Women’s Health Study is a long-term observational study primarily funded by the National Cancer Institute. Between 1985 and 1991, the study enrolled 14,274 women at the Guttman Breast Diagnostic Institute in New York City for a study of endogenous hormones (hormones that are naturally produced by the body) and breast cancer. At enrollment, each woman donated a blood sample and completed a questionnaire about health conditions, reproductive history, and dietary habits. Blood samples were stored in -80°C freezers for subsequent laboratory analyses, allowing researchers to explore biological differences between women who develop disease and women who remain disease free.

Every few years, study participants are followed-up by mail or telephone and asked to complete a questionnaire to update information on their health conditions and lifestyle. From this information, the research team is able to conduct projects that examine the relationship between various lifestyle and biological factors and the development of chronic diseases.

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