Contributions of the Women's Health Initiative to Cardiovascular Research: JACC State-of-the-Art Review

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Jul 19;80(3):256-275. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.05.016.


The WHI (Women's Health Initiative) enrolled 161,808 racially and ethnically diverse postmenopausal women, ages 50-79 years, from 1993 to 1998 at 40 clinical centers across the United States. In its clinical trial component, WHI evaluated 3 randomized interventions (menopausal hormone therapy; diet modification; and calcium/vitamin D supplementation) for the primary prevention of major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, in older women. In the WHI observational study, numerous clinical, behavioral, and social factors have been evaluated as predictors of incident chronic disease and mortality. Although the original interventions have been completed, the WHI data and biomarker resources continue to be leveraged and expanded through ancillary studies to yield novel insights regarding cardiovascular disease prevention and healthy aging in women.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; epidemiology; menopause; prevention; randomized trial; women’s health.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Calcium
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D
  • Women's Health


  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium