Estradiol valerate and alcohol intake: dose-response assessments
The Postmenopausal Health Disparities Study (PHD Study) is a model for unraveling the underlying factors that may play a role in the health status and life expectancy disparities among racial and ethnic groups, with particular attention to effects of alcoholic beverage consumption. The study is bioepidemiologic; underlying mechanisms, rather than end points per se, are evaluated. The design is cross-sectional with historical prospective elements. Data were collected from responses to three questionnaires and examination findings from a clinic visit. There were significant differences among racial and ethnic groups in patterns of alcoholic beverage consumption and selected demographic factors, body mass index, measures of physical activity and fitness, and nutritional factors. Predictors of body mass index included both moderate drinking and hormonal factors. To address the current controversy about risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) we examined the predictors of control-based categories of estradiol among treated women; predictors included drinking of alcohol, hormonal variables, and being Caucasian. In addition, a substantial proportion of the variables examined differed significantly between alcohol drinkers and abstainers. The significant differences between alcohol drinkers and abstainers, and among racial and ethnic groups, demonstrate the value of studying multiple racial and ethnic groups simultaneously. The PHD Study provides a unique and productive model that can be used in other populations.