Five Takeaways from the Largest Study on Women’s Health

As we scour the web for emerging research and developments in the realm of women’s health, sometimes we stumble upon a resource that’s simply too good to break down in to different parts for further explanation.

That was the case when we found this article from Everyday Health entitled 5 Lessons from the Largest Scientific Study on Women, Ever.

In 1991 the National Institutes of Health launched the largest study focused solely on women, called the Women’s Health Initiative, in the effort to determine if hormone therapy used to ease the symptoms of menopause were more helpful or harmful.

The initiative involved dividing 68,132 postmenopausal women into groups, some taking just estrogen, some taking estrogen and progestin, and some taking placebos.

In 2002 and 2004 the researchers stopped the trials early because findings made it clear that hormones posed serious health risks to the women. However, the research didn’t stop there.

Researchers continued to work with these women in other areas of health intervention including low-fat diets and taking vitamin D and calcium. Over the years, the results of the Women’s Health Initiative has brought results that have spurred an astronomical net economic return because the research results have led to better treatment and care for millions of women, decreasing healthcare spending and increasing quality of life.

These are the five biggest takeaways:

1. You probably shouldn’t take hormones for longer than you have to.

2. Low-fat diets are good, but not enough to reduce your risk of some cancers or cardiovascular disease.

3. Taking vitamin D and calcium may not be worth it.

4. Ditch diet soda.

5. If you’re at high risk for melanoma, aspirin might help.


To read the full article and more information related to the largest findings from the study, please visit Everyday Health.


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Elle Michels

Elle Michels

Based in Washington, D.C., Elle Michels is a contributing writer to Womenshealth.com.