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August 14, 2002

The Importance of the Journal Embargo

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Fontanarosa is Executive Deputy Editor and Dr DeAngelis is Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2002;288(6):748-750. doi:10.1001/jama.288.6.748

The major goal of THE JOURNAL is to publish the very best articles possible to advance medical science and expand medical knowledge, thereby enabling physicians and other health care professionals to provide the most up-to-date, scientific, evidence-based care for patients. The recently published report from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Women's Health Initiative (WHI)1 illustrates the importance of providing solid evidence from rigorously conducted clinical trials that has the potential to change clinical practice—in this case, involving use of estrogen-plus-progestin hormone therapy. Moreover, the unexpected findings of the WHI investigation, that this major primary prevention trial was stopped early because the risks of combination estrogen-plus-progestin therapy outweighed the benefits for postmenopausal women, have implications for millions of women taking hormone therapy. Thus, it was virtually inevitable that the study results would generate intense interest among clinicians and widespread attention from the news media and the public.

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