The Other Risks Of Hormone Replacement Therapy
We already knew that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can affect your heart. But a new study shows that HRT is linked to an increased disease risk way beyond the scope of a single organ, finds a Women’s Health Initiative Study that included more than 27,000 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 79.
Women whose uterus were intact and whom received a daily HRT dose of 0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) were found to be at increased risk for coronary heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, dementia, gallbladder disease, and urinary incontinence. There were some benefits—these women experienced a decreased diabetes risk, fewer hip fractures, and less frequent hot flashes—but even so, the benefits clearly didn't outweigh the risks.
But when researchers looked at women who had hysterectomies and were taking only .625mg of CEE a day, the benefits and the risks were more balanced. A reduction in hip fractures, total fractures, and breast cancer risk was met with an increased risk for stroke and venous thrombosis (blood clot).
Scientists once thought that HRT could protect menopausal women from disease. This study, using one of the most commonly prescribed drugs CEE, shows that isn’t the case. “The risks of CEE plus MPA outweigh the benefits, irrespective of a woman’s age,” write the multi-cohort researchers inJAMAtoday.
Video: Feminizing Hormone Therapy at Seattle Children’s
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