Why Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be Safer Than You Think


The pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other when it comes to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat symptoms of menopause. At first, the replacement hormones—mostly a combination of estrogen and progestin to replace what the body stops making after menopause—were seen as a panacea. Doctors thought they could not only relieve hot flashes and night sweats, but also prevent chronic aging diseases like heart problems and weakening bones. But studies then found that the supplement hormones could lead to a higher risk of breast cancer—and that they didn’t protect the heart after all.

In the latest study on the subject, published in JAMA, researchers led by Dr. JoAnn Manson from the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital report on the longest follow-up of the original hormone therapy study, which used data from the Women’s Health Initiative. More than 27,000 women who were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo, a combination of hormones (estrogen plus progestin) or estrogen alone if they had had a hysterectomy. They were followed for 18 years and tracked for chronic diseases like cancer, as well as heart attack and deaths. The women took the hormone therapy for …read more

Source:: Time – Science

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