NIH renews ESTHER funding

The Epidemiological Study of Health Risks in Lesbians—known as the ESTHER Project—has received funding from the National Institutes of Health to conduct the first large-scale clinical investigation of differences between lesbian and heterosexual women for chronic disease risk factors. The study will be one of the largest federally-funded investigations of the health status of lesbians and the risks for chronic disease that may be associated with lifestyles adopted by many lesbian women.

A 2000 survey by the ESTHER Project of more than 1,000 local lesbian, bisexual and transgender women suggested that significant differences exist in the lifestyles of lesbian and heterosexual women. The planned ESTHER survey will attempt to determine if these differences have an impact on the health status of lesbians.