June 26, 2020
COVID-19 presents an evolving world-wide health and economic crisis. Many WHI participants are in a high-risk group for experiencing the serious health consequences of this novel coronavirus pandemic if infected. In keeping with the WHI mission to address the major health concerns of older women, the WHI Steering Committee determined that it is critical to assess the impact of this pandemic in the WHI population. Information from these well-characterized older women could significantly add to the science broadly on the epidemiology of the SARS-CoV-2 infection and adverse outcomes, knowledge and practice of preventive measures, and the impact of social distancing on quality of life. Recognizing that this is a fast moving and complex situation, the WHI Steering Committee approved the development and implementation of a survey instrument to be administered online for WHI participants with email access, and mailed surveys otherwise, augmented with telephone-based interviews for a selected subset of participants, in the June-August 2020. The survey is meant to stimulate rapid reports on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 and support new ancillary studies within our cohort of women currently 70 years and older. The RFPs for manuscript proposals or ancillary studies for COVID-19 related research provide additional details. Investigators with interest in these data who missed the June 24 deadline for manuscript proposals may consider applying for access through the usual P&P approval process. Finally, the WHI will be sponsoring a Scientific Interest Group (SIG), open to all interested researchers, that will seek to catalyze discussion and formation of new study and paper proposals around COVID-19-related research topics.
The WHI program is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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