The Journal of the American Medical Association published a new study affirming the increased risk of serious health diseases associated with long-term use of hormone replacement therapy in postmenopausal women. The study involved 27,347 U.S. women from the Women’s Health Initiative studies initiated in 1992 between the ages of 50 and 79. These subjects who were randomized to receive either estrogen, estrogen and progesterone, or a placebo, stopped in 2002 due to the termination of the trial but were followed until 2010. The study mainly found that there was short-term benefit from use of hormone therapy as it relieved menopausal symptoms during the study period, but there was also an increased risk of stroke and breast cancer during that period as well in patients on both estrogen and progesterone. Furthermore, the risk of breast cancer remained high after discontinuation of hormone therapy whereas the risk of stroke decreased. Overall, the investigators concluded that although hormone therapy may be beneficial for menopausal symptoms in early menopause, it should not be used long term. How often are you asked about hormone replacement therapy? How would you recommend controlling vasomotor symptoms in post-menopausal women?
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