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UCLA researcher who oversaw important study on women dies at 71

Dr. Howard Judd, a researcher who oversaw a groundbreaking
national study of the medical problems of older women, has died. He was 71.

Judd, former vice chairman of the department of obstetrics
and gynecology at the University of California,
Los Angeles, died of congestive
heart failure July 19, said his wife, Susan Judd.

Judd was a principal investigator of the Women’s Health
Initiative, a sweeping federal study launched in the 1990s, until he retired
from UCLA in 2005.

In 2002, the study’s clinical trial on hormone-replacement
therapy appeared to put women at increased risk for heart attack and stroke and
it was called off three years early. Nearly five years later, researchers
concluded that estrogen is beneficial to many, a position that Judd had always

“He was a dissenting voice, and it turns out he was
right,” said Dr. Gautam Chaudhuri, executive chairman of the obstetrics
department at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.

One of Judd’s early achievements was devising a way to
assess the severity of hot flashes, a common effect of menopause. They are
marked by a sharp rise in a woman’s skin temperature and pulse rate. The
equipment he developed to objectively measure hot flashes helped him complete
“tremendous studies related to estrogen therapy,” Chaudhuri said.

A native of Los Angeles,
Howard Lund Judd was born in 1935. His father was an obstetrician and his
mother was a homemaker.

While on a fishing trip as an adolescent, Judd watched his
father painstakingly remove a fishing hook from a boy’s finger and then stitch
it up. From that point on, he planned to become a doctor.

Besides his wife, Judd was survived by three daughters, two
granddaughters and a brother.

Information from: Los Angeles

– Associated Press

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