Perimenopause Estrogen Replacement Therapy (PERT) Study

Principal Investigator : Susan Girdler, PhD, Department of Psychiatry

Recruitment Length: ongoing through 2015

Study Brief: The purpose of this research study is to examine the predictors of the beneficial effects of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) on depressive symptoms and cardiovascular health during the menopause transition. There is evidence that a history of depression before menopause will predict both the course of depressive symptoms and cardiovascular risk during the menopause transition. A history of depression may also predict the benefits of ERT in perimenopausal women. Eligible women will be randomly assigned (i.e., by chance) to either transdermal ERT (a skin patch containing 17b-estradiol) or placebo (a skin patch containing an inert substance).

You may be qualified if the following applies to you:

  • Between the ages of 45 and 55
  • Medically healthy
  • Not currently taking antidepressant medication
  • Experiencing symptoms of the transition to menopause, such as irregular or absent cycles, hot flashes, etc.
  • One of the following statements should apply to you:

1. You have had 2 past experiences with depression but are not currently depressed
2. You have never been depressed

Point of Contact: For more information or to see if you are eligible for the PERT study, please call our study coordinator at (919) 972-7485, email

Compensation Available: $1,425 for completing the full 12-month enrollment protocol and follow-up questionnaires.

Additional Information: