National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences   —  National Institutes of Health   —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Sister Study


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When a participant’s death is reported, information about the cause(s) of death and antecedent health conditions is sought through the participant’s next-of-kin or designated contact persons. A copy of the death certificate and permission for medical record or pathology report retrieval, as appropriate, are also requested from the participant’s next-of-kin.

In addition, the Sister Study performs annual linkages to the National Death Index database (NDI Plus) to obtain vital status and cause of death for participants lost to follow-up. This process also serves to confirm reported deaths and cause of death information. Other conditions present at death are also provided by NDI Plus. The number of deaths and primary causes of death in the full cohort and among those diagnosed with incident ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) or invasive breast cancer are presented in the table below. ICD10 codes used to define each primary cause of death can be found here.

Information on previous data releases can be found in the Archive.

Mortality and Primary Cause of Death in the Full Cohort and Among Incident DCIS or Invasive Breast Cancer Events: Data Release 11










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