The major goal of THE JOURNAL is to publish the very best articles possible
to advance medical science and expand medical knowledge, thereby enabling
physicians and other health care professionals to provide the most up-to-date,
scientific, evidence-based care for patients. The recently published report
from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Women's Health
Initiative (WHI)1 illustrates the importance
of providing solid evidence from rigorously conducted clinical trials that
has the potential to change clinical practice—in this case, involving
use of estrogen-plus-progestin hormone therapy. Moreover, the unexpected findings
of the WHI investigation, that this major primary prevention trial was stopped
early because the risks of combination estrogen-plus-progestin therapy outweighed
the benefits for postmenopausal women, have implications for millions of women
taking hormone therapy. Thus, it was virtually inevitable that the study results
would generate intense interest among clinicians and widespread attention
from the news media and the public.
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