Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women

Tonda Hughes, PhD, Principal Investigator

Dr. Hughes has a distinguished career in substance abuse research focusing on women’s mental health and is an internationally recognized expert in sexual minority (lesbian and bisexual) women’s health.

Her pioneering studies on the predictors and consequences of alcohol use among sexual minority women have received funding since 1999 from the National Institutes of Health and have grown into the world’s longest running longitudinal study of alcohol use and health among sexual minority women.

The Chicago Health and Life Experiences of Women (CHLEW) is a landmark project. The cohort counts over 450 women ranging in age from 18 to 84. More than half are women of color. The study investigates lesbian and bisexual women's health, and their attitudes, beliefs, problems, and relationships.