Healthy Women, Healthy Lives by Susan E. Sc.D. Hankinson
A Guide to Preventing Disease, from the Landmark Nurses' Health Study

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Synopsis

In 1976, a team of physicians and researchers at Harvard Medical School heard from more than 120,000 women in response to a two-page questionnaire. Twenty-five years later, the Nurses' Health Study is still going strong. One of the largest, longest running, and most comprehensive health studies ever conducted, it has helped answer many key questions about the long-term health of American women. It is a remarkable story of dedicated researchers and study participants -- nurses who meticulously documented their everyday activities; filled out long, detailed forms; and even provided blood and tissue samples when asked...solely for the sake of advancing the health of women.

Individual results of this study are familiar to everyone. The Nurses' Health Study was among the first to show that using postmenopausal hormones increases the risk of breast cancer but that eating a high fat diet does not; that gaining weight in adulthood raises the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers but that doing simple exercises like walking can lower those risks. There's more. The Nurses' Health Study has also helped answer these important questions: Which vitamins really protect against cancer? How does the type of fat in food contribute to heart disease and cancer? What are the risks and benefits of postmenopausal hormones and birth control pills? And how big are the benefits of quitting smoking?

For twenty-five years, the Nurses' Health Study has followed more than 120,000 real women, leading real lives, to find what works -- and what doesn't -- to improve the health of women. Its findings over the years have resulted in hundreds of professional papers and newspaper headlines. Now, forthe first time, the most important findings from this study have been gathered together, summarized along with the results of other major research studies, and made accessible to the general public in book form.

But "Healthy Women, Healthy Lives" goes beyond simply labeling preventive factors and risky behavior -- it provides practical tips and strategies for making healthy lifestyle changes from clinical experts at Harvard Medical School. Here are the best ways to lower your risk of chronic disease as well as tips for losing weight, stopping smoking, eating healthily, and exercising regularly.

No matter how many other health books you own, "Healthy Women, Healthy Lives" is a unique addition. With easy-to-read graphics that clarify complex information at a glance, easy-to-follow strategies and personal tips from Harvard physicians, and personal stories from nurses who have contributed to the study, it is a valuable book created for all women.

 

About Susan E. Sc.D. Hankinson

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Susan E. Hankinson, R.N., Sc.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health and at Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
 
Published July 10, 2001 by Free Press. 576 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Education & Reference, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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The Nurses' Health Study closely examined the habits of over 225,000 women, yielding insight into heart disease, breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses and making it the largest study to date on the effects of behavior and lifestyle on women's health.

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