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Medical News & Perspectives
December 27, 2016

The Nurses’ Health Study Takes Fresh Aim at Breast Cancer as It Heads Into Decade Five

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2016;316(24):2583-2585. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.15976

Forty years ago, Helene Glaser received a letter in the mail from Harvard epidemiologist Frank E. Speizer, MD. The letter invited Glaser, a 31-year-old nurse at the Lown Cardiovascular Group just outside of Boston, to participate in “a study of a major public health issue.”

This was 1976, more than 15 years after the birth control pill came on the market. But “there was no one who was looking at potential long-term consequences of oral contraceptives,” Speizer, now the Edward H. Kass Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and professor of environmental science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in an interview.