GUTS is a collaboration between researchers and more than 27,000 participants across the US and beyond who are dedicated to learning about what influences health throughout our lives.

History of the Cohort

GUTS is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1996, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recruited the children of women in the Nurses’ Health Study II into a study investigating how diet and exercise influence weight throughout a person’s life. Mothers enrolled 16,882 girls and boys between the ages of 9 and 14 into the study. GUTS expanded in 2004 with the enrollment of an additional 10,923 children between the ages of 10 and 17, who were also children of NHSII participants.

Significance of GUTS & Future Directions

GUTS participants are now adults, and their participation is more important than ever. Their ongoing contribution helps researchers gain new insights into reproductive health, mental health, heart disease, and other important health topics. GUTS data are used by researchers across the globe, resulting in the publication of hundreds of research articles that have influenced health policy, medical care, and our daily lives.

GUTS data also can be combined with NHS II data to look at intergenerational health effects, and GUTS participants now have children of their own—making GUTS a multi-generational super-study.

Affiliated institutions

Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Collaborating institutions

Boston Children’s Hospital
Boston College
Brown University
Dana-Farber Cancer Center
Massachusetts General Hospital