WHI to celebrate seventh anniversary
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study at the Health Science Center will celebrate its seventh anniversary in March.
The WHI is the largest research study ever on women and their health. Its goals are to determine how diet, hormone therapy, and calcium and vitamin D supplementation might prevent heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. The study also is designed to help identify risk factors for these diseases. About 160,000 women of various racial and ethnic backgrounds from 40 communities around the United States are taking part in the study.
More than 3,300 women from San Antonio and surrounding communities are enrolled in the 12-year study. About 45 percent of the participants are minority, including about 1,400 participants of Hispanic origin. The San Antonio site is one of the few sites within the WHI that has enrolled a significant number of Hispanic participants.
Although final results of the study will not be available until after its closeout in 2005, WHI already has contributed significantly to knowledge about women's health. For example, the preliminary data from the WHI randomized clinical trial of hormone replacement therapy calls into question the results of numerous population surveys that have suggested that hormone replacement therapy protects against heart disease. Investigators are optimistic that the final results of WHI will provide an unprecedented fund of knowledge regarding this and other serious women's health issues.
The principal investigator for the WHI study at the UTHSC is Dr. Robert Schenken, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the Frank Harrison Chair in Reproductive Endocrinology. The co-principal investigator and medical director for the site is Dr. Robert Brzyski, associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology, division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility.