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​​Key WHI Genetic and Biomarker Studies

Included in the WHI Investigators' Data is a file indicating which participants have genetic data on dbGaP. (See the dbGaP Data Dictionary). Genetic and phenotypic data are routinely submitted to dbGaP. Please refer to the dbGaP website for detailed information on what WHI datasets are currently available, instructions on how to access and download data, searchable FAQs, and dbGaP contact information. For genetic data that are not yet available on dbGaP, or for very limited genetic datasets, data may be available from the WHI Clinical Coordinating Center (CCC) as detailed in our policy for accessing WHI genetic data.

The info below may be useful for understanding the types of WHI participants who were included in various WHI GWAS and clinical CVD biomarker projects. For additional info about each study, please search for the Study ID on the WHI Study Pages.


Table 1: Approximate # of participants with both GWAS1 and baseline clinical biomarkers2 by WHI study component

WHI Study Population


~ N3

~ N in MRC4

~ N in LLS5

Non-Hormone Trial

Dietary Modification (DM) only, DM/CaD trial only, OS




Hormone Trial (HT)

Both E+P and E-Alone









1 – Only ‘dbGaP-eligible’ participants were included in GWAS projects. GWAS projects: SHARe (M5), GARNET (M13), WHIMS+ (W63), and LLS GWAS (W66). GWAS data from M5, M13, and W63 included in GWAS imputation project in 2013, the data from which will be uploaded to dbGaP eventually.

2 – Baseline biomarkers from W54, W58, and W66 are in this table. The ‘standard’ clinical biomarkers include: insulin, glucose, CRP, creatinine, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides.

3 – See Table 2 below and the WHI Study Pages for participant selection criteria.

4 – (MRC = Medical Record Cohort) MRC ppts include HT, African-American, & Hispanic ppts enrolled in WHI Extension II (2010-2015). 

5 – (LLS = Long Life Study; also known as the In-person Visit.) Between 2012 and 2013, a subset of MRC ppts were invited to join an in-person data/blood collection project. 


Table 2: Approximate numbers with both GWAS* and baseline** clinical biomarkers by WHI study number


Baseline Clinical Biomarkers2

Study ID#


~ N

Study ID#


~ N

M5 - SHARe1

~8,405 African Americans ~3,602 Hispanic


W54 - SHARe baseline biomarkers

~8,405 African Americans ~3,602 Hispanic



European Americans (EA) HT with CHD, stroke, VTE, diabetes, and matching controls (includes ~1,400 EA from WHIMS4)


W58 – EA HT baseline biomarkers

All EA GARNET controls (~2,208) plus a stratified random selection of EA GARNET cases3 (~859)



All dbGaP-eligible EA WHIMS ppts who were not included in the GARNET GWAS


All dbGaP-eligible EA WHIMS ppts (includes 1,400 from M13 and 4,661 from W63)


Selected EA HT ppts in neither GARNET nor WHIMS


Selected EA HT ppts in neither GARNET nor WHIMS



LLS-eligibles not included in previous GWAS and baseline CVD biomarker projects


W666LLS baseline  biomarkers

LLS-eligibles not included in previous GWAS and baseline CVD biomarker projects


1 – SHARe = SNP Health Association Resource

2 – The ‘standard’ set of baseline clinical biomarkers includes the following: insulin, glucose, CRP, creatinine, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides.

3 – Not all GARNET cases were in the W58 Biomarkers project. Some EA HT ppts who were in neither GARNET nor WHIMS were included in W58 to provide a more balanced cross-section of EA HT ppts. ~4,684 GARNET participants have both GWAS and baseline clinical biomarkers.

4 – WHIMS = WHI Memory Study (AS39). All dbGaP-eligible WHIMS participants have GWAS data (from either M13 or W63) and baseline biomarkers from W58.

5 – W63 is the ‘WHIMS +’ GWAS. W63 included WHIMS participants who were not genotyped in GARNET. W63 also included an age-stratified random selection of HT participants to provide a more balanced cross-section of HT participants.

6 – LLS = Long Life Study. Approximately 1,500 of the LLS-eligibles did not have GWAS and baseline biomarkers. W66 funded these measurements.

* GWAS data available for all participants (with sample available)

** Baseline clinical biomarker data are available for all EA, AA, and H participants in SHARe, GARNET, and “WHIMS+” (with sample available)

This flowchart describes the subset of participants with CVD biomarkers and GWAS data.

Table 3: Other large WHI genetic studies 

Study Name (ID)

Study population (synopsis)





Y1: N~31,000 OS/CT

Y2: N~20,420

Y3/4: N~12,560

Y1:  AIMs, SNPs 6, Metabochip

Y2: SNPs 384a and SNPs 384b

Y3/4:  Metabochip

Y1-Y2 available on dbGaP.  Note: ~10% of the Y1 participants are not dbGaP eligible.  

Y3/4 Metabochip and phenotype data on AA, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans was uploaded to dbGaP in 2014. 


N~2,230 for sequencing

N~8,900 for replication

Exome Sequencing

Exome Chip for replication

Long Life Study (W64)

Data collected: 7,875

Blood collected: 7,481

Baseline:  Clinical​ biomarkers, GWAS 

LLS: CBC, WBC diff, clinical biomarkers​

Blood products (drawn 3/2012-4/2013) available for Ancillary Studies 
Physical and functional measurement data also available in WHI Data set here.