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Biostatistics and Computational Biology

Multicenter Studies

Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS)

Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS)

The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), which began in 1986, evaluates a series of hypotheses about men's health, relating nutritional factors to the incidence of serious illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and other vascular diseases. This all-male study is designed to complement the all-female Nurses' Health Study, which examines similar hypotheses. The HPFS is sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health and is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Cancer Institute.

The HPFS has enlisted 51,529 men in health professions to participate in the study. This group is composed of 29,683 dentists, 4,185 pharmacists, 3,745 optometrists, 2,220 osteopath physicians, 1,600 podiatrists, and 10,098 veterinarians; study participants include 531 African-Americans and 877 Asian-Americans.

The researchers selected health professionals in the belief that men who chose these types of careers would be motivated and committed to participating in a long-term project and would appreciate the necessity of answering the survey questions accurately.