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Data from Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN)

Data from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) are now available to qualified researchers through HealthData.gov. Data were released in early April and can be accessed by completing the online registration and application processes at the following SWAN website.

SWAN is an active multi-site, multidisciplinary, longitudinal study of women’s health. The study was initially funded in 1994 by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Office of Research on Women’s Health, all part of the National Institutes of Health. SWAN’s overall goal is to describe the biological, behavioral, and psychosocial characteristics that occur during midlife and the menopausal transition. SWAN focuses on the impact of menopause on age-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, bone loss and osteoporosis, as well as physical and cognitive functioning.

SWAN has seven clinical study sites located at the following institutions: University of Michigan, Massachusetts General Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, University of California Davis, University of California Los Angeles, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and University of Pittsburgh. The SWAN cohort was recruited from their surrounding areas and enrolled in 1996-97 and consists of 3,302 women representing five racial/ethnic groups and a variety of backgrounds and cultures. Cohort members were pre-menopausal, not taking hormones and between 42–52 years of age at the time of enrollment. SWAN participants are seen annually or bi-annually for clinic visits, which include interviews, measurements, and the collection of blood and urine samples. SWAN participants have now been seen for the baseline and 13 follow-up visits. The SWAN Repository stores more than 1.7 million plasma, serum and urine specimens as well as extracted DNA, buccal cells, and immortalized cells for subsequent use by the scientific community.

Researchers interested in accessing and analyzing the data in SWAN Repository can obtain additional information and complete the online application process here.

The field of women's health lost a long-time advocate, Dr. Sherry Sherman, who passed away in October 2014. During her 20+ year tenure at the National Institute on Aging, Dr. Sherman played an important role in the identification of menopause as an area of research interest, and in the development and oversight of SWAN. SWAN’s continuing fieldwork, analyses, and publications are direct results of her efforts.