Menopause Society: Review of Data Needed
Wulf Utian, MBBCh, PhD, founder and executive director emeritus of the North American Menopause Society, has called for an independent commissionto study the effect of the Women's Health Initiative decision in 2002 to terminate its estrogen–progestogen therapy arm.
He published his views in the society's journal, Climacteric, in an article entitled "A decade post WHI, menopausal hormone therapy comes full circle." "The sudden decision by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to terminate the estrogen–progestogen therapy arm of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Study a decade ago now begs two questions," he wrote. "Has women's health after menopause been helped or harmed as a result of the findings and the way in which they were presented, and, if harmed, what needs to be done to put things right?"
Utin contends that reviews over the last ten years of specific publications from the WHI "lead to the serious question whether a project designed to be of benefit to women's health has boomeranged, and instead may have resulted in significant impairment to both the quality of life and physical health of postmenopausal women."
He suggests two actions that he says should be taken immediately, the first being a re-evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration of the black-box warnings on postmenopausal hormones, and the second being a commission charged with scrutinizing "every major WHI paper to determine whether the data justified the conclusions drawn."