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“It’s an effort to change the world of medicine and health”: WELL for Life launches today

The Stanford Prevention Research Center has launched a huge, new international study of health and well-being called WELL for Life -- and today's the first day to sign up. Organizers plan to enroll 30,000 participants — 10,000 each in the Bay Area; New Taipei City, Taiwan; and Hangzhou, China.

“It’s an effort to change the world of medicine and health,” said John Ioannidis, MD, DSc, professor of medicine and director of the Stanford Prevention Research Center, of the project. “It may sound very ambitious, but I see this as a way to refocus the key priorities of biomedical research.”

Over at least five years, and possibly much longer, WELL for Life participants will take engaging periodic surveys about their sense of well being, stress levels and overall health. The surveys will help researchers understand the factors that enhance wellness and well-being.

The program also includes experimental interventions such as smoking cessation programs and improving neighborhoods that could potentially enhance participants sense of well-being and health.

The WELL for Life project — which was funded with a $10 million gift from the Amway Nutrilite Health Institute Wellness Fund to Stanford University — will likely enroll more cities in years to come, but collaborations with researchers in New Taipei City and Hangzhou made them great places to start.

Taiwan, for example, is in the midst of recruiting 200,000 people to donate biological specimens for its massive new Taiwan Biobank. In New Taipei City, Fu Jen Catholic University’s goal for that effort is 10,000 participants, the same number WELL for Life plans to recruit for each participating site. Meanwhile, Ann Hsing, PhD, MPH, a professor of medicine who recently came to the SPRC from NIH, had prior connections at Fu Jen.

You can read about how the WELL for Life surveys were designed in my recent article for Stanford Medicine. To participate, register on the WELL for Life website.

Previously: Plumbing the well of wellness and Strive, thrive and take five: Stanford Medicine magazine on the science of well-being

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