There’s a women’s health study out of Boston known as the Nurses Study. This is a long-term effort by researchers to assess risk factors for heart disease and cancer. Along the way they’ve learned some amazing things about other aspects of women’s health. I’ve followed the Nurses Study with great interest as the results have changed the way researchers look at women’s health. Of course I’m not a nurse so I couldn’t participate in that study.
When I read that Northwestern University is running an Illinois-specific version to learn more about women’s health issues, I immediately signed-up. The researchers make it so easy to participate in the Illinois Women’s Health registry. All you need to do is register and complete the questionnaire. The website notes the questionnaire is a bit long, but I’ve never found it to take more than 1/2 hour. You complete the questionnaire from home at your convenience. All of your responses are confidential. It just couldn’t be easier.
Once a year you’ll be asked to update your information. Sometimes the researchers use the information to find study participants. If there is a research study that you might be able to participate in, someone will call and ask more questions. If you qualify, you can decide to participate or not. I was called about a study on arthritis in my knees. It turns out I did not qualify because I probably don’t have arthritis as much as I have occasional overuse pain. It wasn’t enough to qualify for the study, though. If I had qualified, I would have been given an opportunity to participate in a study. I could choose to or choose not to participate.
This is a really important long-term study with the potential to do great things for future generations. It only works if a large number of women participate so researchers have enough data to develop conclusions. If you haven’t thought about participating in a long-term health study, consider the Illinois Women’s Health Registry. It couldn’t be easier to make a big impact on the future of women’s health. For more information, click on a link above, call 800.984.IWHR or email email@example.com
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