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Oestrogen did not prevent death or non-fatal stroke in postmenopausal women with ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack

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 QUESTION: In postmenopausal women with ischaemic stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), is oestrogen more effective than placebo for preventing cerebrovascular events?


Randomised {allocation concealed*}, blinded (patients and clinicians),* placebo controlled trial with a mean follow up of 2.8 years (Women's Estrogen for Stroke Trial [WEST]).


21 hospitals in the USA.


664 postmenopausal women who were > 44 years of age (mean age 71 y, 84% non-Hispanic white) and had had a qualifying ischaemic stroke or TIA within the previous 90 days. Exclusion criteria included ischaemic stroke or TIA that was disabling or had occurred while the patient was taking oestrogen, and a history of breast or endometrial cancer. All patients were included in the analysis.


Women were allocated …

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  • * See glossary.

  • Information provided by author.

  • Sources of funding: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and Mead Johnson Laboratories.

  • For correspondence: Dr C M Viscoli, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. Catherine.viscoli{at}