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​​​​​​​​​​​Welcome to the Women's Health Initiative

The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) is a long-term national health study focused on strategies for preventing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women.  Launched in 1993, the WHI enrolled 161,808 women aged 50-79 into one or more randomized Clinical Trials (CT), testing the health effects of hormone therapy (HT),  dietary modification (DM), and/or calcium and Vitamin D supplementation (CaD) or to an Observational Study (OS).  At the end of the initial study period in 2005, WHI Extension Studies (2005-2010, 2010-2020) continued follow-up of all women who consented.  

This ground-breaking study changed the way health care providers  prevent and treat some of the major diseases impacting postmenopausal women.  Results from the WHI Hormone Trials have been estimated to have already saved $35.2 billion in direct medical costs in the US alone.  To date, WHI has published  over 1,400 articles and approved and funded 289 ancillary studies

Interested scientists are encouraged to submit paper and ancillary study proposals for  using WHI data.  To assist in this, this website includes an overview of WHI, study documentation, and information on how to submit a paper or ancillary study proposal.


​WHI News

Featured PublicationPinkal Desai headshot photo

Association of APOL1 with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction in postmenopausal African-American  women

Franceschini N, Kopp JB, Barac A, Martin LW, Li Y, Qian H, Reiner AP, Pollak M, Wallace RB, Rosamond WD, Winkler CA. JAMA Cardiol. 2018 Aug 1;3(8):712-720. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2018.1827.
APOL1 genotypes are associated with kidney diseases in African Americans and may associate with cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women, who are at high-risk for these outcomes. Among 11,137 African American participants of the Women's Health Initiative, APOL1 genotypes were not associated with incident coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, and all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. APOL1 was associated with hospitalized heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, which was partly accounted by baseline kidney function. This study does not support a relationship among APOL1 genotypes and cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women, except for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, which mechanisms may include chronic kidney disease.

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