Join the Nurses’ Health Study – impacting women’s health for the past 35 years

Join the Nurses’ Health Study – impacting women’s health for the past 35 years

Investigators at the Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital are asking female nurses between the ages of 22 and 45 to join the Nurses’ Health Study 3 (NHS3).This is one of the largest and longest running women’s health studies ever conducted.

The original Nurses’ Health Study began in 1976 with the participation of more than 121,000 nurses. In 1989, an additional 116,000 female RNs were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study 2. These studies have taught us much of what we currently know about how foods, exercise, and medications can affect women’s risk of developing cancer and other serious health conditions. However, there is still a great deal that we do not know, especially among women from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
The goal of the NHS3 is to investigate how women’s lifestyles (including diet, exercise, birth control, pregnancy, work exposures, etc.) during their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s can influence their health and disease risk later in life. Because of nurses’ unique knowledge, training and interest in health issues, they can provide very accurate and complete information.
The Nurses’ Health Study 3 will be conducted entirely online. For more information and to join, visit their website:
Some of our own AAMC nurses are already NHS participants:

I can’t actually remember when I started but it was in my other life—wife and mother, etc. I was probably in my late thirties and, thanks to my kids, everyone knows how old I am now. We started out with an extensive health history and sending blood samples through the mail. Wonder if that would be permitted now? We then received a box of cards that had a randomized treatment assignment. I was assigned to placebo aspirin and placebo beta-carotene, along with active vitamin E. Before you finished the cards of pills, another box would appear. Then questionnaires as to how faithful we were in taking the pills and more history. Nurses would send in pictures of themselves vacationing around the world holding their pill cards. We even got a newsletter showing this. Now, each year we get a questionnaire to update our information on health events and risk factors for disease, such as whether we smoke, exercise, or use postmenopausal hormone therapy. I even have to confess how much I weigh. Nurses at AAMC have been involved in clinical trials for a very long time.  -Jean Judge BSN, RN, CPAN, Unit Educator, Edwards Surgical Pavilion

I’ve been in this study since 1989; it’s been a great experience to contribute to women’s health. I’m currently in a smaller “sub-study” this year and am looking at validation of the lifestyle questionnaires that they use. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get involved somehow!  -Laura Norton MSN, RN, CNRN, Stroke Program Coordinator 


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