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Results from the Harvard Nurses' Health Study
The Harvard Nurses' Health Study began in 1976 and included data from over 120,000 women. It's the most comprehensive study of women's health ever conducted. Why only women? When it began, the study was to look at the long term effects of oral contraceptives.
When investigators recognized that diet and nutrition play a role in overall health, they began to include data about what the women were eating. This aspect of the study was added in 1980.
Some of the factors that affected mortality rates may surprise you.
A side note: There are actually three Harvard Nurses' Health studies. The original, begun in 1976; the second begun in 1989 to study younger women; and the third begun in 2010 to look at women with more diverse backgrounds.