New Recommendations Warn Against Hormone Replacement Therapy

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently released recommendations against the long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in menopausal women for the prevention of chronic disease.

HRT, a drug therapy that can include a combination of estrogen and progestin, has historically been used to relieve the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and difficulty sleeping, and to reduce the risk of heart disease, breast cancer, and osteoporosis. Within the last decade, however, increased rates of urinary incontinence and breast cancer among long-term users has led the USPSTF to begun recommending against the long-term use of HRT. These new recommendations also discourage even short-term HRT because of the risks involved.

The Task Force cited results of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a 160,000 person study conducted over 15 years, which showed only a moderate decrease in osteoporosis for users of HRT, and few other benefits. The WHI study authors further noted that the slight benefits from HRT could be much more effectively treated using other drugs. The recommendation could eventually lead to changes in the FDA’s indications for use of estrogen and progestin drugs.

If you’re a woman transitioning through menopause, it’s recommended that you set aside some time to discuss your health concerns with your primary care provider or family physician.

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Source: The Advisory Board

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