Approximately 62,000 women between the ages of 50 – 79 have volunteered to participate in the first long-term study to seek ways to prevent health problems affecting post-menopausal women, including heart disease, colon and breast cancer, and osteoporosis. The project, which is predicted to cost $628 million, is being funded by the National Institute of Health. There will be 40 sites across the country and 10 will be dedicated to minority and low income groups. The project’s organizers hope to find solutions that will lead to healthier and longer lives for women. Volunteers will be observed for 9 years, beginning 3 years after they start the program. Researchers will study the effects of diet on breast and colon cancer prevention and the use of calcium and vitamin D to prevent osteoporosis and colon cancer. They will also track the effects of hormone pills on the prevention of heart disease and osteoporosis.