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General population-based cohort
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Subjective memory complaints (SMC) or subjective cognitive decline (SCD)
Sample size at start or planned sample size if still recruiting
Estimated Current Sample Size
Age at Recruitment
The Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II) was established by Dr. Walter Willett and colleagues in 1989 with funding from the National Institutes of Health to study oral contraceptives, diet, and lifestyle risk factors in a population younger than the original NHS cohort.
Why a new cohort of nurses?
This younger generation of nurses included women who started using oral contraceptives during adolescence and were thus maximally exposed during their early reproductive life. Several case-control studies suggesting such exposures might be associated with substantial increases in breast cancer risk provided a particularly strong justification for investment in this large cohort. Researchers also planned to collect detailed information on the types of oral contraceptives used, which was not obtained in the Nurses’ Health Study.
In addition, NHS II obtained information on physical activity and diet in adolescence and early adult life.
Brigham and Womens Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health
Principal Investiator (PI)
Heather Eliassen and Walter Willett
Contact phone number
Nurses' Health Study II
Channing Division of Network Medicine
181 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Funders (Core support)
National Institute of Health (NIH)|National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)|Breast Cancer Foundation
Brain related measures: N/A
Funtional rating: Individual physiological, Individual psychological
Anthropometric: Blood pressure, Height, Hip circumference, Waist circumference, Weight
Physical: Cardiovascular, Hearing and Vision, Musculoskeletal, Reproductive, Respiratory
Biological samples: Blood, Urine
Genotyping: Gene screening
Brain imaging: N/A
Brain banking: N/A
Lifestyle: Alcohol, Dietary habits, Physical activity, Smoking
Socio-economic: Ethnic group, Housing and accommodation, Informal support, Martial status, Occupation and employment
Health service utilisation: Formal health and social care service utilisation including private care
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