EPIC Centres


  Background | Follow-up | Scientists | Funding  | Activities 

E3N (Etude Epidémiologique auprès des femmes de la MGEN)
Nutrition, Hormones and Women’s Health
Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP)
INSERM Unit 1018
Paris South University

Institut de Cancérologie Gustave Roussy
39 rue Camille Desmoulins
94805 Villejuif Cedex


Participants in the French prospective cohort, E3N, were recruited among women living in France and insured with MGEN (Mutuelle Générale de l’Education Nationale), a national health insurance plan covering school teachers and co-workers. In 1990, about 100 000 women aged 40—65 years were recruited. Blood samples were collected from about 25% of the participants, and saliva samples from almost 50%. About 75 000 of the E3N women answered the diet history questionnaire sent in 1993, and they represent the EPIC-France cohort.
  Males Females Number of participants Percentage of EPIC cohort
France 0 74 524 74 524 14.29%

The Nutrition, Hormones and Women's Health research team focuses on diet and hormones as major components of women’s health and performs analytical epidemiological research with interests in environment, biology, and genetics to understand risk factors for cancer and other major chronic diseases.


Each participant is actively followed up by self-administered questionnaires approximately every 2 years since 1990; the latest follow-up was mailed in November 2011. These questionnaires collect information on lifestyle and reproductive factors, body build, past medical history, and familial history of cancer. Other follow-up methods include linkage with health insurance records and mortality registries and collection of cancer/pathology reports.
By the end of 2013, 5726 participants in the EPIC-France cohort had died and there were 17 807 cancer cases.


Principal Investigators

Francoise Clavel-Chapelon
Principal Investigator
Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault
Study Coordinator
Laure Dossus
Database Manager
Lyan Hoang
IT Manager

Other key people

Guy Fagherazzi
Dr Agnès Fournier


Financial support is provided by:
  • Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (Inserm)
  • Institut de Cancérologie Gustave Roussy
  • La Ligue Contre le Cancer
  • L’Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR)
  • L’Institut National du Cancer (INCa)
  • La Fondation de France (FdF)
  • L’Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC)
  • La Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM)

Research Activities

  • Investigate the associations of major chronic diseases (with a particular interest in cancer) with lifestyle and metabolic factors (in particular diet, physical activity, use of hormonal treatments, reproductive factors, and early life exposures)

  • Assess the relationship between chronic diseases and several biological markers (diet, hormonal milieu, genetic polymorphisms, etc.)
  • Analyse the interaction between genetic characteristics and these potential risk factors
  • Analyse factors related to cancer recurrence and survival
  • Establish the E4N cohort (children, grandchildren, and children’s fathers of E3N participants): www.e4n.fr.