Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), 1996-1997: Baseline Dataset (ICPSR 28762)

Principal Investigator(s): Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim, University of Pittsburgh; Selzer, Faith, University of Pittsburgh; Sowers, MaryFran, University of Michigan; Neer, Robert, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; Powell, Lynda, Rush University. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center, Chicago; Gold, Ellen, University of California-Davis; Greendale, Gail, University of California-Los Angeles; Weiss, Gerson, University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School; Matthews, Karen, University of Pittsburgh; McKinlay, Sonja, New England Research Institutes


The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), is a multi-site longitudinal, epidemiologic study designed to examine the health of women during their middle years. The study examines the physical, biological, psychological, and social changes during this transitional period. The goal of SWAN's research is to help scientists, health care providers, and women learn how mid-life experiences affect health and quality of life during aging. The data include questions about doctor visits, medical conditions, medications, treatments, medical procedures, relationships, smoking, and menopause related information such as age at pre-, peri- and post-menopause, self-attitudes, feelings, and common physical problems associated with menopause. The study is co-sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health. The study began in 1994. Between 1996 and 1997, 3,302 participants joined SWAN through 7 designated research centers. The research centers are located in the following communities: Ypsilanti and Inkster, MI (University of Michigan); Boston, MA (Massachusetts General Hospital); Chicago, IL (Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center); Alameda and Contra Costa County, CA (University of California-Davis, and Kaiser Permanente); Los Angeles, CA (University of California-Los Angeles); Hackensack, NJ (Hackensack University Medical Center); and Pittsburgh, PA (University of Pittsburgh). SWAN participants represent five racial/ethnic groups and a variety of backgrounds and cultures. This is the next phase of data collection after the original collection of the screening data (ICPSR 4368).

Series: Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) Series

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


Sutton-Tyrrell, Kim, Faith Selzer, MaryFran Sowers, Robert Neer, Lynda Powell, Ellen Gold, Gail Greendale, Gerson Weiss, Karen Matthews, and Sonja McKinlay. Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), 1996-1997: Baseline Dataset. ICPSR28762-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-02-04.

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health (NR004061)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (AG012495, AG012505, AG012539, AG012546, AG012553, AG012554)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Nursing Research (AG012535)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Office of Research on Women's Health (AG012531)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    African Americans, alcohol, Asian Americans, attitudes, birth control, body height, body weight, demographic characteristics, doctor visits, ethnicity, family size, health attitudes, health behavior, health problems, health services utilization, health status, Hispanic or Latino Americans, illness, informed consent, life satisfaction, medical evaluation, medical procedures, medications, menopause, mental health, older adults, quality of life, religion, smoking, stress, treatment, White Americans, work

Smallest Geographic Unit:    county

Geographic Coverage:    Boston, California, Chicago, Hackensack, Illinois, Inkster, Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh, United States, Ypsilanti

Time Period:   

  • 1996-01-01--1997-11-30

Date of Collection:   

  • 1996-01-01--1997-11-30

Unit of Observation:    individual, household, metropolitan area

Universe:    Women age 40 through 55, living in designated geographic areas, with the ability to speak English or other designated languages (Japanese, Cantonese, or Spanish), who had the cognitive ability to provide verbal informed consent, and had membership in a specific site's targeted ethnic group were included within the first SWAN data collection. For the initial data collection, 202,985 sampling units were screened for participation. 34,985 were identified as eligible. 16,065 completed the survey. 3,302 enrolled in the longitudinal survey.

Data Type(s):    clinical data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Using the variable SWANID, this dataset can be linked with the SWAN Cross-Sectional Screener Data (ICPSR 04368), Visit 1 Data (ICPSR 29221), Visit 2 Data (ICPSR 29401), and Visit 3 Data (ICPSR 29701).


Sample:    Site-specific sampling frames were used and encompassed a range of types, including lists of households, telephone numbers, and individual names of women.

Time Method:    Longitudinal: Panel

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview, self-enumerated questionnaire

Response Rates:    16,065 completed the screening interview. 3,302 were enrolled in the longitudinal study.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2010-09-02

Version History:

  • 2014-02-04 This data collection is now publicly available.
  • 2011-01-06 The data for two variables within this dataset, SHBG0 and FSH0, have been corrected so that the proper values are now present within the dataset.

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