NIH News Advisory
Office of the Director

Office of Research on Women's Health

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

OD Office of Communications
(301) 496-5787

Office of Research on Women's Health
Ellyn Pollack
(301) 402-1770

NIH Convenes Workshop on Menopausal Hormone Therapy

On October 23 and 24, 2002, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a scientific workshop on Menopausal Hormone Therapy (HT) in the main auditorium of the William H. Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

The purpose of the workshop is to review the results from one component of the NIH Women's Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial, which was halted July 2002 due to an increased risk of invasive breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. This component of the WHI focused on cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and breast and colon cancer. "We need to communicate the implications of the current knowledge so that women and their physicians can make informed decisions on short- and long-term use of HT," said Dr. Elias Zerhouni, NIH Director. Research on other aspects of HT in the treatment of menopausal symptoms also will be reviewed.

"The results of this meeting should be extremely valuable since millions of women in this country are taking HT — previously known as HRT," explained Dr. Ruth Kirschstein, NIH Deputy Director.

Sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on October 23 and 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on October 24 and will include audience discussion. On the afternoon of the 24th, there will be brief presentations by individuals and members of professional and advocacy organizations regarding implications of the results of this component of the WHI for clinical decision making and for future research.

Press availability. October 24, 4:30 pm, room F1 and F2 of the Natcher Conference Center. Directors at several NIH Institutes with an interest in hormone replacement and key NIH staffers will be available to answer questions.

Members of the press and general public must register in advance. The conference registration form and agenda are online at There will be a separate room available for members of the press. The workshop will also be webcast at

Two forms of I.D. required. All attendees must show 2 forms of identification upon entering the facility. Parking is limited, but the NIH campus is accessible from the Medical Center stop on Metro's red line. Because of security concerns, all attendees are urged to allow extra time to pass through NIH security checkpoints. A map of the NIH campus is available at:

Reasonable Accommodations: If you require reasonable accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Jennifer Loukissas at 301-496-9186 during business hours of 9 to 5:30 at least two business days prior to the event.

The target audience for this workshop is physicians, scientists and PIs, nurse practitioners, advocacy groups, and the public. At the end of the meeting, participants will have:

  1. An understanding of the design and scientific rationale for the WHI and other ongoing studies of menopausal combination hormone therapy, as well as an understanding of how the determination was made to stop the combination hormone therapy arm of the WHI trial;
  2. An understanding of the clinical implications of the results of WHI and other studies, and the effect of individual risk factors such as age and medical history on the expected balance of benefits and harms of menopausal combination hormone therapy to aid decision-making by women and their physicians. This includes a discussion of the alternative agents that can be considered for prevention of osteoporosis and heart disease;
  3. Knowledge of the recommendations concerning menopausal combination hormone therapy made by the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and other professional organizations based on review of the literature, including the WHI study;
  4. Knowledge about the risks and benefits of menopausal combination hormone therapy, and potential alternative treatments for the relief of the vasomotor symptoms of menopause.

The NIH Foundation for Advanced Educational Services (NIH/FAES) is accredited by the Accredition Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The NIH/FAES designates this educational activity for a maximum of 13 hours in category 1 towards the AMA Physician's Recognition Award. Each physician should claim only those hours of credit actually spent in the activity.