The Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) is a multi-site longitudinal, epidemiologic study designed to examine the health of women during their middle years. The study examines the physical, biological, psychological and social changes during this transitional period. The goal of SWAN’s research is to help scientists, health care providers and women learn how mid-life experiences affect health and quality of life during aging. The study is co-sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Research on Women’s Health, and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The study began in 1994 and is in its twenty-second year. Between 1996 and 1997, 3,302 participants joined SWAN through seven designated research centers. The research centers are located in the following communities: Ann Arbor, MI (University of Michigan), Boston, MA (Massachusetts General Hospital), Chicago, IL (Rush University Medical Center), Alameda and Contra Costa County, CA (University of California Davis and Kaiser Permanente), Los Angeles, CA (University of California at Los Angeles), Jersey City, NJ (Albert Einstein College of Medicine), and Pittsburgh, PA (University of Pittsburgh). SWAN participants represent five racial/ethnic groups and a variety of backgrounds and cultures.
Two central laboratories have supported the SWAN Research through cooperating agreements. The Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc. (PPD) provided cardiovascular assays through 2007. The RSP CLASS Laboratory at the University of Michigan has taken over cardiovascular responsibilities and in addition provides routine reproductive hormone results. In March 2004 the CLASS lab was awarded accreditation by the Commission of Laboratory Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists, based on the results of stringent on-site inspection designed to ensure the highest standards of care for the laboratory’s patients.
The SWAN Repository, the biologic specimen bank for SWAN, contains blood and urine specimens collected at each study participant’s annual visit.
For more information about this study, please contact SWAN’s Project Officer, Winifred Rossi, Deputy Director of Geriatric and Clinic Gerontology at the National Institute on Aging.
Additional information can be obtained from NIA’s Public Information Office at (301) 496-1752.
National Institute on Aging
National Institute of Nursing Research
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
National Institute of Mental Health
Office of Research on Women’s Health
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs