The *NEW* Medical Sciences: The Million Women Study of The National Health Service (UK)

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The 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony (above).  Americans may have been befuddled(?) by this tribute, and the comments by HRH Elizabeth II on honoring her Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).  It was the National Health Service that, in part, brought down the infant morbidity and mortality rate in the UK  following WWII.

What is the Million Women Study?

“What is The Million Women Study? The Million Women Study is a national study of women’s health, involving more than one million UK women aged 50 and over. It is a collaborative project between Cancer Research UK and the National Health Service, with additional funding from the Medical Research Council and the Health and Safety Executive, which aims to answer many outstanding questions about the factors affecting women’s health in this age group. The main focus of the study relates to the effects of hormone replacement therapy use, but the large size of the study means that a very broad range of health issues can be addressed.

What is the Million Women Study investigating? The Million Women Study is investigating how various reproductive and lifestyle factors affect women’s health. In particular, the study is looking at how hormone replacement therapy affects a woman’s breasts and other aspects of her health. Other factors being investigated include diet, exercise, employment patterns, oral contraceptive use, childbirth and breastfeeding, and family history of illness, in relation to a wide range of cancers and to other conditions such as fractures, gallbladder problems and cardiovascular disease.

Who is taking part in the study? Between 1996 and 2001, women were invited to join the Million Women Study when they received their invitation to attend breast screening at one of 66 participating NHS Breast Screening Centres in the UK. At these centres, women received a study questionnaire with their invitation, which they were asked to complete and return at the time of screening. Around 70% of those attending the programme returned questionnaires and agreed to take part in the study – this excellent response means that over 1 in 4 women in the UK in the target age group are now participating in the study. It also means that the Million Women Study is the largest study of its kind in the world.

Who is involved in conducting the study? The Million Women Study is a nationwide study coordinated by experienced researchers based in Oxford. The study is supported by public funds from Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and the Health and Safety Executive.”

The Million Women Study is the LARGEST study, but it is also the most IN-DEPTH, patient-driven study in the World.  As it deals exclusively with Women’s health issues,  by extension, it gives insight into Pediatric and Men’s medicine, as well.

While there have been recent set-backs to Social and Reproductive  Medicine in many countries (and Medicare-for-All in the USA in particular), The Million Women Study stands at the opposite extreme of public participation and small sample size. This given insight to the both the tenacity of sample sample size researchers of rare disease, as well as the need for comprehensive, large scale studies of a wide range of populations and cultures (e.g., England, Scotland, Northern Counties of Ireland, and Wales); of  individuals and pheno-types.


The United States of America – A Dubious Honor for a Great Nation

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Dark Green: 0-5% of live births end in death (Canada/Nordic/Europe/Australia, as examples).  Emerald Green: 5-10% live births end in death (USA/Russia, as examples).  

While the UK was able to reduce infant mortality dramatically, the same advance has not occurred on The USA.   HRH Elizabeth II was insistent that infants be given the chance for life after birth.  She allowed the release of further photos taken of her as Princess Elizabeth in the National Ambulance Corp (below) demonstrating National Health is everyone’s concern.

Princess Elizabeth (HRH Elizabeth II) for three (3) years was a truck mechanic (#230873) in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.  Here she can be seen maintaining an Austin K2 ambulance and a “Tilly” light truck.

What a “real” Princess said after the War on releasing these photos:  “One of her major joys was to get dirt under her nails and grease stains in her hands, and display these signs of labour to her friends.”     COLLIER’S MAGAZINE, 1947

In 1942, at age 16, Elizabeth registered with the Labour Exchange –the British employment agency at the time – and was extremely keen to join a division of the women’s armed forces. Her father was reluctant to let her do so, but eventually relented. Once in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, Elizabeth learned how to change a wheel, deconstruct and rebuild engines, and drive ambulances and other vehicles.  Joining the ATS as an Second Subaltern, Elizabeth achieved the rank of Junior Commander within five months.

additional reading:

The University Of Oxford

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