Update on recent Women’s Health Initiative long-term data

Bronwyn Stuckey

Keogh Institute for Medical Research; Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital; Medical School, University of Western Australia

In the mid-1990s, investigators recruited 161,808 women into the WHI study. Although we think of the WHI as a randomised trial of menopause hormone therapy (MHT), a minority of women, 27,347, were recruited into the randomised trial of hormone therapy in WHI. Other randomised studies were of calcium and vitamin D and of dietary intervention. The majority, 93,676 women, were enrolled into the non-randomised observational study of chronic disease. The study continues with two extensions the latest being 2010 to 2025 with 93,567 women enrolled.
Thus far, the WHI study has produced 2089 publications on a wide range of subjects relevant to midlife women’s health. The original publications from the randomised hormone studies – CEE + MPA or CEE alone v placebo– were published in 2002 and 2004 and caused a seismic shift in the management of menopause. Although subsequent publications from the WHI have been more nuanced and even corrective, the original impact of the WHI publications remains a hurdle in the menopause consultation and menopause management.
Therefore, it behoves us to examine the later publications from WHI, not only those relating to MHT but also those relating to diet, lifestyle and common supplements used by patients


Bronwyn Stuckey is a clinical endocrinologist with a special interest in reproductive endocrinology.

She is a consultant physician in Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth, Western Australia, Medical Director of the Keogh Institute for Medical Research and Clinical Professor in the Medical School, University of Western Australia. She is a Past President of the Australasian Menopause Society and a Life Member of the Endocrine Society of Australia.

Her clinical and research interests, and that of the Keogh Institute, lie within the interface between hormones, particularly reproductive hormones, and metabolism.