The Women's Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial: overview and baseline characteristics of participants

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Age Factors; Aged; Female; *Food Habits; Health Behavior; Humans; Medical History Taking; Middle Aged; *Patient Selection; Questionnaires; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; data; Risk Factors; *Women's Health


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


The Dietary Modification (DM) component of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) is a randomized controlled evaluation of a low-fat diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and grains. This low-fat dietary pattern is hypothesized to reduce the risk of breast and colorectal cancer and secondarily, coronary heart disease, in postmenopausal women. To test these hypotheses, 48,836 postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to either the lowfat eating pattern (40%) or self-selected dietary behavior (60%). The nutrition goals for women in the intervention arm are to reduce energy from fat to 20% and energy from saturated fat to 7%, and to increase fruit and vegetable intake to at least five servings per day and grains to at least six servings per day. Participants will be followed for an average of 8.5 years.

The purpose of this report is to describe the baseline characteristics of participants in theDMtrial, with emphasis on sociodemographics, health behavior, medical history, dietary intake, and other factors that could relate to the clinical outcomes.

DOI of Published Version



Ann Epidemiol. 2003 Oct;13(9 Suppl):S87-97.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Annals of epidemiology

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID