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Name of Collaboratory :


Black Women's Health Study (BWHS)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 1995 End Date : Info Last Updated : Wed, Dec 8 2010 11:01pm PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Distributed Research Center  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :


Domain(s) :

  SOCIAL SCIENCES >Sociology >Demography and Population Studies
NON-S&E >Health and Medical Sciences >Public Health, NON-S&E >Health and Medical Sciences >Health Sciences, Other

Brief Description 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


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  Research findings are available on their Website. They also put out a bi-annual newsletter that is freely available on their Website.  

Access to People as Resources :


Funding Agency or Sponsor :


Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:
The first NIH grant for the BWHS was for 5 years. They will continue to apply for re-funding every 5 years and are currently funded through 2014.

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
Boston University
   BU School of Medicine
Lead institution
Howard University
   Howard University Cancer Center (HUCC)
Georgetown University
   Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Lead institution

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
They have a 6-member advisory board of black women.


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

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