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Wisdom trial stopped

October 2002

On Wednesday 23rd October, the Medical Research Council (MRC) announced that the WISDOM study (Women's International Study of Long Duration Oestrogen after Menopause) should be stopped for scientific and practical reasons. It was stressed that there were no safety concerns for the 5,700 women involved in the study.

The WISDOM study was set up to assess the balance of risks and benefits of long term HRT in postmenopausal women using either continuous combined HRT (0.625mg conjugated equine oestrogen and 2.5mg medroxyprogesterone acetate) or oestrogen alone. The trial began in 1999, when it was felt that important questions about risks and benefits of long term HRT required answers. In July 2002, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), which was a similar study using the same hormones, showed that long-term use of these hormones did not prevent heart disease, which was one of the issues the Wisdom trial was set up to examine.

Following release of the WHI study, an Independent International Committee (IIC) was asked to review the results from the WHI and other studies as well as the progress of the Wisdom trial. It was decided that in light of the new evidence and the slow progress of WISDOM that the trial should stop. The IIC considered that the results of the trial, which would not be available for another decade, would be unlikely to influence clinical practice.

Cessation of this trial should not alarm women since there were no concerns about the safety of women in the study. Women who were involved in the study have been informed of the decision.
The MRC media release is available on

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