National Cancer Institute
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Agricultural Health Study (AHS)

Cohort Collaboration Contact

If interested in collaborating with the cohort on a project, please contact:

Principal Investigators

  • Laura Beane Freeman (NCI, DCEG, OEEB)
  • Jonathan Hofmann (NCI, DCEG, OEEB)
Cohort Website


This study explores potential causes of cancer and other diseases among farmers and their families and among commercial pesticide applicators. Current medical research suggests that while agricultural workers are generally healthier than the general U.S. population, they may have higher rates of some cancers, including leukemia, myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and cancers of the lip, stomach, skin, brain, and prostate. Other conditions, like asthma, neurologic disease, and adverse reproductive outcomes may also be related to agricultural exposures. The Agricultural Health Study is designed to identify occupational, lifestyle, and genetic factors that may affect the rate of diseases in farming populations.

The Agricultural Health Study began in 1994, and will continue to gather information for a number of years about the health of pesticide applicators and their families, details on occupational practices, and information on lifestyle and diet on a periodic basis. The complete set of questionnaires External Web Site Policy may be viewed. Personal identifying information on participants is kept confidential and used only by research staff. Names are not included in any reports. The study results are reported as statistical summaries only.

North Carolina and Iowa were selected for this important study based on a nationwide competition. Both states have strong agricultural sectors with diverse production methods, commodities, and products. Information we learn from these two states will be helpful to farmers throughout the United States and other countries using modern agricultural technologies.