of the Collaboratory :
Black women have higher rates of many illnesses, such as hypertension, breast cancer at young ages, diabetes, stroke, and lupus. There needs to be a better understanding of the causes of these illnesses and determinants of good health. The Black Women's Health Study (BWHS) recognizes that need and is working to answer these questions.
The study is designed to gather information on many conditions that affect black women—breast cancer, lupus, premature birth, hypertension, colon cancer, diabetes, uterine fibroids, and is thus designed as a follow-up study that enrolls participants and then follows them over time. When the participants enter the study, they provide information on factors that might influence health and disease, such as contraceptive use, cigarette smoking, and diet. At regular intervals, participants provide updated information on these factors (because the factors may change over time), and also on any illnesses they develop.
Here are some of the questions they are investigating within the BWHS:
Why does breast cancer occur more commonly among young black women than among young white women?
Does exercise protect against the occurrence of breast cancer in black women?
Does diet influence the occurrence of breast cancer in black women? If so, what nutrients or foods?
Why does lupus occur more commonly in black women?
Why does premature birth occur more commonly among black babies?
Do experiences of racism affect the occurrence of various illnesses in black women?
What behaviors help to keep black women healthy?
Part of Cohort Consortium. See http://epi.grants.cancer.gov/Consortia/members/blackwomen.html.