This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the women’s health initiative study regarding HRT in postmenopausal women.
The US Preventive Services task force came out this week with recommendations about the use of estrogen and progestin treatment in postmenopausal women.
The new recommendations are based on data reviewed and published Monday (May 28, 2012) in the Annals of Internal Medicine. This article covered the analysis of 9 clinical trials over the last 10 years.
The recommendations were based on whether hormone therapy should be used by postmenopausal women to prevent possible future health events such as heart disease, dementia or osteoporosis. The overall consensus is that HRT should not be used in postmenopausal women for prevention of such conditions.
They do not apply to women who are younger and have undergone surgical menopause or women who are just going through menopause, older than 50, and are taking hormone therapy for the management of menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness.
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and the North American Menopause Society website emphasize the same cardiovascular and cancer risks and recommend that a woman’s personal risk factors should be a determining factor in deciding whether to take hormone therapy.
Physicians should take all clinical information into account for the patient and prescribe the lowest dose possible for the shortest period of time.
Always consult with your physician prior to making any decisions about changing your treatment.