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ORANGE : UCI Medical Center to Join Women’s Study

The UCI Medical Center has been chosen by the National Institutes of Health to take part in an unprecedented $628-million, 18-year commitment to research chronic diseases that affect women, such as breast cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.

The medical center will be one of 24 centers nationwide to conduct the Women’s Health Initiative, officials said Thursday. As part of the study, UCI Medical Center will receive about $9 million over an 11-year period.

“This is an extraordinarily important study,” said Dr. Frank Meyskens Jr., director of the UCI Clinical Cancer Center, who will help lead the study.

“Few studies have been done on chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis in mature women,” he said. “These conditions are the leading causes that impair quality of life in post-menopausal women. Through the Women’s Health Initiative, we hope to help women live longer, healthier lives.”

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Two primary goals of the health initiative are to recruit nationwide 63,000 post-menopausal women, ages 50 to 79, for the first part of the study, a clinical trial, and another 100,000 for an observational study. UCI will recruit 1,400 for the first study and 2,200 for the second. The study will begin in February.

Officials say the clinical trial will seek to understand whether low-fat diets prevent breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease; whether hormone replacement therapy prevents heart disease and osteoporotic fractures; and whether calcium and vitamin D prevent osteoporotic fractures and colon cancer. The observational study will measure the influence of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors on health and disease.

To enroll or to receive more information, call (714) 456-7241.


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