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Cohort Acronym

Cohort type
General population-based cohort


Participant type
No diagnosis

Recruitment Period 1996-2001 
Sample size at start or planned sample size if still recruiting 1360000  
Estimated Current Sample Size 500,000+ 
Age at Recruitment 50-64   
Gender Female 

The Million Women Study is the largest study of women’s health in the world. In 1996-2001, a quarter of UK women then aged 50-64 years (1.3 million women) joined the study. The aim of the study is to provide reliable information on potentially modifiable causes of common and serious illnesses, to help improve individual and public health. Study participants have provided details about their lifestyle and health and given signed consent for follow-up. Since recruitment their health has been followed mainly through electronic linkage to routinely collected NHS records (only 1.5% loss to follow-up after 20 years) and the whole surviving cohort has been re-contacted 4 times by postal re-survey to update exposures (1999-03, 2006-7, 2009-12 & 2013-14). Subsets of women have completed additional postal and online re-surveys.

Million Women Study is part of the Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), a multi-million pound public-private partnership to accelerate progress in dementias research http://www.mrc.ac.uk/research/facilities/dementias-platform-uk

Last update – 13/06/2017

Country United Kingdom 
Contact details
Institution name Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford 
Principal Investiator (PI) Professor Dame Valerie Beral 
Contact email [email protected] 
Contact phone number +44 (0)1865 289600 
Address The Million Women Study Co-ordinating Centre
Cancer Epidemiology Unit
Richard Doll Building
Roosevelt Drive
Oxford OX3 7LF 
Funders (Core support) Cancer Research UK
Medical Research Council 

Variables Collected

Brain related measures: N/A
Funtional rating: N/A
Anthropometric: Blood pressure, Height, Hip circumference, Waist circumference, Weight
Physical: Cardiovascular, Hearing and Vision, Musculoskeletal, Reproductive, Respiratory
Biological samples: Blood
Genotyping: Gene screening
Brain imaging: N/A
Brain banking: Consent for brain donation
Lifestyle: Alcohol, Dietary habits, Physical activity, Smoking
Socio-economic: Education, Ethnic group, Family circumstances, Housing and accommodation, Informal support, Marital status, Occupation and employment, Unpaid care
Health service utilisation: Formal health and social care service utilisation including private care
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