All specimens collected from WHI participants are maintained in a biorepository in Rockville, MD, under highly controlled conditions. The inventory of samples is tracked via a WHI Specimen Tracking database that allows for good prediction of sample availability and status. The Specimen Tracking database also stores variables associated with the blood draw, such as number of fasting hours before blood draw and number of freeze/thaw cycles.
Buffy Coat (DNA)2
CT OS 25%
1 - Time points: Baseline through Year 9 samples were collected in WHI 1993-2005 at WHI clinical centers; samples for the Long Life Study (LLS) were collected in 2012-2013 at participant homes 2 - Buffy coat is not available to researchers. DNA is extracted from buffy coat for samples selected for testing at the WHI central lab and aliquots of DNA are shipped to the testing lab.
3 - Urine samples were collected at the three Bone Mineral Density (BMD) sites where BMD was also measured (see 'BMD' on the
Subsample Definitions list for brief description)
4 - CT 6% subsample (see 'CT 6% blood' description on the
Subsample Definitions list for brief description). RBCs and Buffy coat were not collected routinely from the 6% CT subsample at Years 3, 6, or 9
5 - LLS (Long Life Study, N = 7,875); collected between 3/2012 and 5/2013 - 14 - 19 years after baseline depending on enrollment date (see
Long Life Study for a description). Serum collected in serum separator tubes (SST), plasma collected in EDTA and plasma separator tubes (PST). Plasma citrate was not collected at the LLS blood draw.
Blood samples: Participants were asked to fast for at least 12 hours before blood draws. The day of the blood draw, part of all baseline blood samples and OS Year 3 blood samples was sent to clinical center labs for measurement of WBC, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelet count. The remaining blood samples were maintained at 4°C for up to one hour until plasma or serum was separated from cells. Blood samples for carotenoid analysis were protected from natural and fluorescent white light with samples stored in covered containers or tubes.
Buffy Coat: Buffy coats were removed from the spun EDTA and citrate blood collection tubes and placed in 1.8 ml freezer vials.
RBCs: After buffy coat was removed from the EDTA blood collection tube, a sample of the packed RBCs were placed into 1.8 ml freezer vials. NOTE: In 2009/2010, samples from ≤3% WHI RBC draws
suffered degradation as the result of storage at -20 ºC while at the processing
lab for aliquoting (as described by Pottala et al). These
vials have been removed from the WHI biorepository inventory. Two RBC
processing procedures have since been implemented to prevent RBC sample
degradation: (1) RBC samples are consistently stored at -80 ºC, and (2) the
minimum RBC aliquot volume is 250ul (to prevent oxidation). With these
procedural changes, the WHI RBC samples are of good quality for use in
Urine: First morning void urine samples were collected on both CT and OS participants at the three BMD Centers. Specimens were centrifuged and placed into 1.8 ml freezer vials.
Specimen vials were labeled with barcodes, frozen at -70°C, and sent on dry ice to the central repository in Rockville, MD (stored at -80°C). The inventory is tracked via the WHI Specimen Tracking database, which tracks sample availability and status, and stores variables associated with the blood draw, such as # fasting hours before draw and # freeze/thaw cycles.
WHI Manual, Vol. 2, Sec. 11 - Blood and Urine Collection, Processing, and Shipment for complete description of the collection process. See
Form 100 and Form 101 - Blood/Urine Collection, Processing, and Shipment for items collected regarding specimen handling.
Long Life Study sample details, see
Synopsis of Blood Protocol.
Blind Duplicates: WHI uses blood samples from women who consented to the screening blood draw, but were not enrolled or randomized into any WHI component. The samples are relabeled to provide blinded samples that are included in all batches of assays.
Pooled sample: Pooled samples of serum, citrated and EDTA plasma, and RBCs were created early in the project to be used in batches of core analytes and CVD biomarkers. Results of these samples allow investigators to monitor the stability of primary analytes over time.
See additional information from the
Specimens available to Ancillary Studies
Specimen test results available to researchers
How to access specimen test results
Contact the WHI Help Desk at
email@example.com if you need assistance or have questions.