WELL China

Learn more about the different parts of WELL China!

Welcome to WELL China!

With just over 10,000 participants, WELL-China is the largest cohort in the WELL for Life Study. WELL China is a collaboration between Stanford University and Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China, led by Professor Ann Hsing of Stanford University and Professor Shuankuan Zhu of ZJU. WELL-China also collects the most data from the participants, including the WELL module, demographics, diet, physical activiity, sleep, TCM, medical history, biospecimens, and clinical assessments. Some preliminary findings from WELL China include that Well-being had some association with age and education, but was strongly associated with traditional Chinese Medicine body type, with Qi Stagnation and Qi Deficiency body types having the lowest scores. 

Preliminary Research Findings


We found that Well-Being was associated with age and education. It was also strongly associated with traditional Chinese Medicine body type, with Qi Stagnation and Qi Deficiency body types being associated with the lowest well-being scores. 

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Traditional Chinese Medicine body type associated with obesity and diabetes (the "phlegm dampness' body type) is linked to a high intake of desserts, roots, and tubers. 

Microbiome and Metabolomics

The WELL China microbiome study discovered gender-specific microbiome signatures that contribute to the relationship between the fat distribution and gut microbiome characteristics, including overall abundance and diversity. They also discovered that five unique metabolites mediate the relationship between the gut microbiome and fat distribution. 


Food accessibility affects the prevalence of chronic diseases, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. The WELL-China team also identified four unique dietary patterns. Of note, a high-alcohol dietary pattern is associated with metabolites in the lipid metabolism pathway and gut microbiota abundance. 


Poor sleep quality is associated with dry eyes. The researchers found that retinal vessel health is positively associated with taking naps and drinking water. People who nap also have a larger retinal arteriolar caliber, possibly from lower blood pressure related to the sleep behavior. 

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with body fat and inversely associated with muscle, as measured by bone density scanning. 

The China Well-being Flower

Through qualitative interviews, 10 key domains related to well-being were identified (see figure), which form the China well-being flower. The 10 domains include: physical health, stress and resilience, experience of emotions, lifestyle & daily practices, social connectedness, purpose & meaning, finances, sense of self, and creativity. Through this exercise, a 76-item survey was designed to elicit responses on self-perceived well-being. An algorithm as developed to quantify each well-being domain and overall well-being from each study participant’s survey data.