WRITER: AMY LILLARD
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
2130 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
Release: March 2, 2000
UI researcher receives $2.3 million grant to study Depo-Provera
IOWA CITY, Iowa M. Kathleen Clark, Ph.D., associate professor in
the University of Iowa College of Nursing, has received a four-year $2.3 million
grant from the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development to
study the effects of Depo-Provera on bone-mineral density in women.
Clark, an epidemiologist and nurse practitioner, said that evidence suggests
that Depo-Provera, a popular contraceptive injection, may contribute to bone
loss at a time when women are maintaining or building bone. This may set the
stage for osteoporosis later in life.
"Right now, decisions regarding the use or non-use of Depo-Provera
by clinicians and consumers are made based on inadequate information,"
she said. "We hope that the information gained from this study will provide
the basis of an informed decision."
Depo-Provera is a highly effective method of contraception that is injected
every 90 days, an advantage many women prefer, Clark said. The contraceptive
suppresses the production of estrogen, which is important in maintaining bone
density. The study will test 160 women who are beginning their use of Depo-Provera.
The researchers will test the women every three months for two years, checking
bone density and hormone levels. A similar-sized group who do not receive
the injection also will be tested.
Clark's co-investigator is Barcey Levy, Ph.D., M.D., and UI associate professor
of family medicine. Their research team includes faculty from obstetrics and
gynecology, including Ann Laros, M.D., assistant professor (clinical), and
Susan Long and Vicki Guzman, advanced registered nurse practitioners.