Archives of Women’s Mental Health

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 7–14 | Cite as

The Women’s Health Initiative Conundrum

  • M. H. Birkhaeuser
Invited Editorial


The WHI has been designed to evaluate the metabolic risks and benefits of Estrogen/Progestagen Therapy (HT) or Estrogen Therapy (ET) in women in their later postmenopause. It has not been designed to study the effect of HT or ET on symptomatic peri- and early postmenopausal women. Furthermore, the selection criteria used in the WHI are not congruent with the profiles of women treated in daily medicine by HT/ET: women starting HT/ET in clinical routine are younger, less obese and healthier than the WHI population. Therefore, the results and the risk-benefit-conclusions of the WHI cannot be applied to normal symptomatic peri- and immediately postmenopausal women, and even less to women with early (40–50 years) or premature (40 yrs.) menopause.

Keywords: Menopause; estrogen therapy; hormone therapy; WHI; risks; benefits; climacteric symptoms; quality of life. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. H. Birkhaeuser
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gynaecology Endocrinology and Reproductive MedicineUniversity of BerneInselspitalSwitzerland

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