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Women S Health Initiative

NEWS
September 11, 1996 | SHARI ROAN
Two years ago, the federal government launched the largest study ever of major issues pertaining to women's health. The Women's Health Initiative was designed to boost knowledge about women after a major government report revealed that many previous studies focused primarily on men. But, with a deadline set for the year 2005, investigators are concerned that too few women will join the study, thus jeopardizing researchers' ability to obtain clear-cut answers to some important questions.
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HEALTH
January 12, 1998 | SHARI ROAN, TIMES HEALTH WRITER
Recruitment for the Women's Health Initiative, the largest study ever on issues pertaining to women's health, will close on time at the end of the month, according to government health officials. The study, which began recruiting women in 1994, has enrolled more than 130,000 post-menopausal women nationwide and will meet its recruitment goals, says Dr. Jacques Rossouw, project officer for the National Institutes of Health.
SCIENCE
July 10, 2002 | ROSIE MESTEL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Three years ahead of schedule, scientists have unexpectedly halted a critical clinical trial testing the effects of hormone replacement therapy on women after menopause because of a slight but significant increase in the risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, blood clots and strokes. The trial, which tracked 16,608 women taking either the hormones estrogen and progestin or a placebo for five years, was brought to an end after a review in late May made it clear that the risks of the hormone regimen outweighed the benefits.
NEWS
November 4, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
A significant rise in hip fractures among women is one result of the decade-long slide in the popularity of hormone replacement therapy, researchers report in a new study. The landmark Women's Health Initiative study showed unequivocally that hormone therapy helps strengthen women's bones and prevents fractures of hip, wrist and spine by 27% to 35%. However, hormone use fell out of favor after studies in 2002 showed it raised the risk of breast cancer and did not lower heart-disease risk and, in fact, may elevate the risk in some women.
NEWS
November 18, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Hormone therapy appears to affect the brain differently depending on the age of the woman when she receives it, researchers reported Thursday. Hormone-replacement therapy for women has been the subject of considerable debate. Studies have shown both pros and cons. But hormone use has declined in the last decade because a major study on the issue, the Women's Health Initiative , found that the risks of taking hormones appeared to outweigh significantly the benefits in older postmenopausal women.
NEWS
December 9, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy may benefit younger postmenopausal women who do not have a uterus, a Canadian researcher said Thursday at the annual meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Dr. Joseph Ragaz, an oncologist at the University of British Columbia, presented a re-analysis of the Women's Health Initiative -- which originally concluded that both long-term estrogen-only and estrogen-plus-progestin hormone replacement were too risky for most women.
HEALTH
April 5, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Although many women have sworn off hormone therapy, a new analysis from the clinical trial that first unearthed the hormones' risks shows taking estrogen alone for menopausal symptoms, even for several years, may be safer than first thought. The new finding — the latest from the Women's Health Initiative, a federally funded trial that tracked thousands of women taking hormones or placebo pills for years — looked at women who have had hysterectomies and thus can take estrogen unaccompanied by another hormone, progestin.
NEWS
October 13, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Sexual desire disorder in women is supposedly a significant problem in the United States, according to some studies and various companies that market products designed to improve women's sex lives. But a large study published this week finds that older women are mostly quite satisfied with their sexual health. If they have a problem, it's because they lack a partner or would like to have more sex, not less. The data are from the Women's Health Initiative, famous for its investigation into the effects of hormone therapy on post-menopausal women.
HEALTH
June 7, 2010 | By Chris Woolston, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When a woman stops making estrogen, her body notices. Hot flashes, night sweats, moodiness, foggy thinking — all can be part of the menopausal package. At first blush, the solution seems obvious: Take extra hormones, and the symptoms of menopause should vanish. Over the decades, millions of women have taken some form of hormone therapy to relieve symptoms of menopause or to prevent the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The treatment typically included Premarin, estrogen isolated from the urine of pregnant mares, combined with Provera, a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone.
SCIENCE
July 18, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, This post has been updated. See below for details.
Hormone replacement therapy has plummeted among U.S. women since the Women's Health Initiative cut short its Estrogen Plus Progestin Trial in 2002, when study results revealed that women who took the two-hormone therapy suffered adverse effects and higher mortality. But the widespread rejection since of all hormone replacement therapies among menopausal women has been misguided, a team of researchers from the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., wrote Thursday in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health .  Looking at a separate group of women than those followed in the 2002 trial - women ages 50 to 59 who had had hysterectomies - Dr. Philip Sarrel and colleagues calculated that rejecting estrogen-only hormone therapy resulted in the early deaths of nearly 50,000 women between 2002 and 2011.
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