W63 - GWAS on WHIMS and Subsample of HT EA Women

This site provides study documentation for the W63 Core Study. Datasets for this study are contained within the existing WHI datasets, located on the Data site (a completed Data Distribution Agreement is required; see details on the Data site).

Investigator Names and Contact Information

Core study approved by WHI Steering Committee


GWAS data exists on ~12,000 WHI African American and Hispanic women from the OS and the CT (in M5-SHARe) and ~5,200 cardiovascular outcome cases and controls from the HT trial (M13-GARNET).  The current proposal aims to expand existing WHI GWAS data to European Americans (EA) in the HT, focusing on women in WHIMS. Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study (AS39-WHIMS) is an ancillary study to WHI which was designed to examine the effects of hormone therapy on the development and progression of dementia in women over 65 years of age.  The proposed GWAS will include 4,660 WHIMS participants, 279 HT EA participants over 65 years of age, 899 HT EA participants under age 65 who were not previously included in GARNET or WHIMS, and 292 blind samples (150 blind duplicate pairs) for a total of approximately 6,130 DNA samples.
EA GWAS will allow for race-ethnicity comparisons for quantitative traits within WHI.  The proposed project will expand the GWAS cohort size for studies within the HT cohort when combined with other GWAS data in GARNET.  This GWAS with cognitive outcomes expands core resource for future studies of genomics, candidate genes, whole genome (or exome) sequencing, etc.  Participant selection from WHIMS avoids case-control selection bias, expands the ability to looks at aging related phenotypes, and will overlap the Long Life Study cohort.  These same participants have been or will be analyzed for CVD and diabetes biomarkers (insulin, glucose, CRP, creatinine, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglyceride) and thus the GWAS data will also allow for association studies of genetic variants with key biomarkers.
The study has enormous potential for exploring risk factors and outcomes. The WHI dataset itself has detailed data on nutrition, lifestyle and psychosocial characteristics.  It has been linked to national datasets like the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) which can yield procedure, medication and cost data, and the datasets that provide data on environment and neighborhood.
Sample Selection of W63 HT EA cohort
Biomarkers in W581
< 65 (in M13, not WHIMS)
> 65 (in M13, not WHIMS)
 WHIMS (EA not in M13)2
< 65 (not M13, not WHIMS)2
> 65 (not M13, not WHIMS)2
Remaining M13 (not in WHIMS)
1 = insulin, glucose, CRP, creatinine, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, trigylceride
2 = To be completed by 2013


Illumina Omni Express + Exome Array
Phenotype data to be updated on dbGaP annually

W63-WHIMS+ was included in the 2013 GWAS Imputation project (imputed to 1000G data). See the table in Key Genetics and Biomarkers Studies for information about the WHIMS+GWAS included in the imputition data.   Baseline clinical biomarker data (glucose, insulin, creatinine, CRP, triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL, and LDL) are also available (see study W58).

See publications: WHI publications by study lists published WHI papers that have been generated by ancillary studies. A complete list of WHI papers is available in the Bibliography section of this website.