Women's Health Initiative
By Michelle M. Mielke, PhD, Mayo Clinic, SWHR Interdisciplinary Network on Alzheimer’s Disease Member In the last few years
It has long been clear that effects of hormone replacement are best when treatment begins early rather than late after menopause. The data showed such distinctions, but they too were obscured by a rush to summary judgment.
Some of us are suckers for studies: clinical trials, focus groups, surveys -- whatever promises to shed a little light on the human condition, or possibly make that condition a little better. This writer is a hopeless volunteer and currently proud of being an original part of the Women's Health Initiative.
One of the least discussed, yet most pervasive stigmas in gender equality is female menstruation. In every country, the veil of silence around menstruation contributes to sexism that can hold women back in their personal lives and professional careers.
When the Women's Health Initiative was established more than 20 years ago, no one was talking in grandiose terms and few would have anticipated the wide-ranging health benefits (and huge cost savings) that would result in the decades ahead.
My colleagues and I published our paper because we believe a small percentage, but still a very large number, of women are being harmed -- even killed -- due to an inappropriate aversion to the very concept of hormone replacement.
We are certainly not saying that every woman with a hysterectomy should take estrogen. Our argument is exactly against the oversimplification of one-size-fits-all approaches.
All forms of hormone replacement for all women at menopause was never right, but nor is NO forms of hormone replacement for NO women at menopause. There was always baby and bathwater here, and we have egregiously failed to distinguish between the two.
Some great news was just released that is sure to make big believers in the power of vitamin D smile... and maybe just a little smug.
Along with tens of millions of my baby boomer friends, I have embarked on a new journey at a time in life when Madison Avenue uses all its muscle muscle to convince us women that 50 is the new 30 or 60 is the new 40.