Follow-up of DES Exposed Cohorts

Update Your Address

The Slone Epidemiology Center is participating in a collaborative follow-up study of the long-term health effects of diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure, with 4 other academic research centers and the National Cancer Institute. All previously studied cohorts of DES-exposed and unexposed persons were identified and combined in 1992 to create a cohort of mothers, a cohort of daughters, and a cohort of sons. The mothers’ cohort received one questionnaire (1994) and has been followed passively for deaths since that time. The sons’ and daughters’ cohort have been followed by periodic mailed questionnaire (1994, 1997, 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016) for assessment of changes in health status and changes in exposures. Disease rates in the exposed cohorts will be compared with disease rates in the unexposed cohorts. The principal aim is to evaluate whether DES exposure increases the incidence of cancer in the offspring of women who took DES while pregnant. In particular, we will evaluate the relation of prenatal DES exposure to risk of breast cancer in the daughters and risk of prostate cancer in the sons. Because many DES daughters have expressed concerns about whether their own daughters will experience health problems due to the DES exposure, we have begun the Third Generation Study. As with our earlier studied cohorts, we compare two groups of women: those whose mothers were exposed to DES in utero and those whose mothers were not. Investigators at the Slone Center have led analyses and manuscript preparation on DES in relation to infertility in the daughters, breast cancer in the daughters, and hypospadias in the grandsons.

For more information, please visit the DES Follow-up Study website.