Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC San Diego

UC San Diego Previously Published Works bannerUC San Diego

Effects of Conjugated Equine Estrogen on Health-Related Quality of Life in Postmenopausal Women With Hysterectomy: Results From the Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Clinical Trial



The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) clinical trial of conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs), involving 10,739 postmenopausal women with hysterectomy, aged 50 to 79 years, was stopped early owing to lack of overall health benefit and increased risk of stroke. Because CEE is still prescribed for treatment of menopausal symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis, it is important to understand the overall impact of this therapy on health-related quality of life (HRQOL).


All participants completed 6 specific measures of quality of life at baseline and 1 year, and a subsample (n = 1189) also completed the questions 3 years after randomization. Changes in scores were analyzed for treatment effect.


Randomization to CEE was associated with a statistically significant but small reduction in sleep disturbance at year 1 compared with baseline (mean benefit, 0.4 points on a 20-point scale) and a statistically significant but small negative effect on social functioning (mean effect, -1.3 points on a 100-point scale). There were no significant improvements due to CEE in the areas of general health, physical functioning, pain, vitality, role functioning, mental health, depressive symptoms, cognitive function, or sexual satisfaction at year 1. A subgroup examined 3 years after baseline had no significant benefits for any HRQOL outcomes. Among women aged 50 to 54 years with moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms at baseline, CEE did not improve any of the HRQOL variables at year 1.


In this trial of postmenopausal women with prior hysterectomy, oral CEE did not have a clinically meaningful effect on HRQOL.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View