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WHI pendantLegacy pendants

Click here to learn more or purchase a pendant

Created specifically for the Women’s Health Initiative to celebrate its legacy, this sterling silver or gold plated pendant features the Women’s Health Initiative logo. It comes with an adjustable 16-18” chain.

From initial funding in 1993 through the end of the current extension in 2021 and beyond, WHI has been an incredible effort in helping to understand healthy aging, the causes of certain diseases and how to reduce the risk of several health conditions. Thank you for being part of WHI's legacy!

Welcome to the Participants page

Welcome, WHI participants!  In this section of the WHI website you can read about study findings, browse current and old newsletters, and learn about additional resources.  While you're welcome to access the entire WHI website, this section of the site is written specifically for our valued participants. This section includes:

  • Study findings and additional details for each of the original WHI study components.  For example, if you visit the Dietary Study page, you will find the main study findings for that part of the WHI, as well as answers to questions you and other participants may have had.

  • All issues of the current and previous WHI newsletters (English and Spanish): 

    • WHI Matters, the annual newsletter, sent to all participants throughout the study.

    • WHIse Choices – participants in the Dietary Change part of the Dietary Study received this newsletter throughout the intervention period.

  • Additional resources – visit this section for links to several other websites with resources related to women, health, and aging.

Please visit other sections of the WHI website if you're interested in learning more about the WHI study, such as detailed descriptions of the study components (see About WHI), information about current WHI studies (see Studies), or the latest WHI news (see WHI home page).

Participant news

WHI continues, COSMOS and WHISH Trials ongoing

The NHLBI has approved a 5 year extension of the WHI program, 2015-2020. In addition to the continuation of the WHI, there are two large randomized controlled trials that started up in 2015. 

Quilt squares – WHI participants from all over the country contributed their creative talents toward creating quilt squares representing their thoughts about WHI.  Many of the clinical centers stitched these squares into a large quilt, with each square telling a story about the study or the individual participant.  Photos of many of these squares are presented here in a slideshow – we hope you will enjoy them as much as we have over the years!​

Ancillary Studies

COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) TrialCOSMOS logo

Click here for more information on the COSMOS trial

Cocoa extract may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in older adults — but we don't know for sure. We also don't know if taking multivitamins helps reduce the risk of cancer. WHI investigators have received funding to study these questions in women from the WHI. COSMOS will also be implemented in older men recruited through Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. The scientific leadership team includes Drs. JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, and Howard Sesso, ScD, of Harvard and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and Dr. Garnet Anderson, PhD, from the WHI Coordinating Center at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Funding and/or other support is being provided by Mars Inc. and Pfizer Inc..

For you to know:

  • Surveys were sent to about 75,000 WHI participants. If you receive this survey, please fill it out and return it to us right away.

  • Eligible women who consent will be assigned at random to one of these four COSMOS intervention groups:

    ​Cocoa Extract +
    ​Placebo +
    ​Cocoa extract +
    ​Double Placebos
  • Participants will not be told their COSMOS intervention group assignment.

  • Participants will take the COSMOS study pills for 4 years.

  • The COSMOS study pills with cocoa extract will not taste like chocolate.

  • The COSMOS study pills with multivitamins will be similar to commonly available multivitamin supplements.

More details:

Eligibility for WHI Participants

  • Being 65 years or older and currently enrolled in the WHI.

  • Not having had a heart attack or stroke.

  • Not having been diagnosed with cancer in the past two years.

  • Willing to stop taking concentrated cocoa extract during the study if you are currently taking it on your own. It is OK to drink regular cocoa beverages and eat chocolate.

  • Willing to stop taking multivitamin supplements during the study if you are currently taking them. It is OK to take calcium supplements up to 1500 mg per day and Vitamin D supplements up to 1000 IUs per day.

Cocoa beans photo.About Cocoa Extract

  • The extract from cocoa beans contains rich natural bioactive compounds called flavanols.

  • There have been hints over the years that cocoa might have health benefits. Some small clinical trials have shown that cocoa extracts can improve cholesterol, blood pressure and other vascular risk factors. But so far, no one has shown whether that translates to fewer cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes.

About Multivitamins

  • Evidence about multivitamin use and health is lacking.  

  • In the WHI, multivitamin use has not been found to influence the risk of cancers or heart disease. 

  • ​A recent large scale trial in male physicians found no effect on cardiovascular disease, but did report that a daily multivitamin reduced the risk of cancer by 8 percent. In older men (ages ≥ 70 years), the risk reduction was 18%.




Women’s Health Initiative Strong and Healthy Study (WHISH)WHISH logo.png

Does increasing physical activity in postmenopausal women lower the risk of heart disease? Help maintain independent living?

WHI received funding to find out if increasing physical activity in older women improves health.

A few facts about WHISH:

  • WHI will use the information you have provided to see if you might be eligible for WHISH.

  • Potentially eligible WHI participants will be contacted about WHISH in 2015.

  • Some women will be contacted for both WHISH and COSMOS. You may take part in both studies.

  • If you join WHISH, you may be asked to move more and sit less. This might include:

    • Walking or similar activity — ones that you enjoy.

    • Strength, balance and flexibility activities.

    • Setting your own goals.

  • Your WHISH participation would be for 4 years.

  • WHISH will be done by mail and phone.

  • WHISH Scientific Leaders: Marcia Stefanick from Stanford, Charles Kooperberg from the WHI Coordinating Center at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Andrea LaCroix from the University of California at San Diego.

  • WHISH Sponsor: The National Institutes of Health

LILAC logoLife and Longevity after Cancer (LILAC) Study 

More than 30,000 women have been diagnosed with cancer since they joined the WHI.  The LILAC study aims to learn more about cancer treatments and their effects on the lives and health of women. The LILAC study will include women diagnosed with breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma, leukemia, and lymphoma.  The Clinical Coordinating Center has mailed to about 10,000 current WHI participants who have had a diagnosis of cancer. Thank you to all of you who have participated in this study!

If you have any questions about the LILAC study, please call the toll free message line 1-855-332-1930.