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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

NHS Looking For Volunteers

Published October 26, 2010 2:42 PM by Candy Goulette

In 1976, more than 120,000 female registered nurses signed on to the first Nurses' Health Study to volunteer information that would be used to assess risk factors for cancer and heart disease in older women. In 1980, questions were added looking at diet and other factors. The aim was to look at risk factors for major chronic diseases in women and use the information to make recommendations. In 1989, a second Nurses' Health Study was launched, with more emphasis on lifestyle.

So far, the treasure trove of information has led to new insights into women's health, on the prevention and treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes and what effect lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise have on health. Nearly 240,000 RNs now take part in these two studies and researchers are looking for more. Researchers say there is much more to be learned and have begun recruiting for Nurses' Health Study III.

The initial study was fairly representative of nursing at the time (mostly white women age 30-55, recruited from the 11 most populous states). Researchers this time around want to look at younger women from more diverse ethnic backgrounds to see what influence lifestyle in the 20s and 30s has on health throughout the lifespan. They're looking for volunteers born after Jan. 1, 1965 to join the study. To be eligible to participate, you must live in the U.S. or Canada, be an RN, LVN/LPN, NP, CRNA or other advance practice nurse. You do not have to be working as a nurse. You are not eligible if you are not a nurse, younger than 22 or older than 45, are a nursing student, are a current participant in another Nurses' Health Study or live outside of the U.S. or Canada. Men are not eligible.

Many nursing organizations, including the ANA, are asking their membership to take part. The information gleaned could help identify important nutritional, lifestyle and biological factors influencing women's health. The time commitment - 30 minutes or so to fill out the questionnaire - is minimal, but the information found could potentially save lives. To enroll in Nurses' Health Study III, go to For more information on the Nurses' Health Studies, go to


Thanks for posting this, Candy! You can also find us on Facebook:

laura anatale-tardiff November 3, 2010 10:47 AM

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