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Menopausal Hormones: New Recommendations

September 28, 2017
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When the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was published in 2002, study data was sensationalized by both study authors and in the press. Headlines incorrectly inferred that all hormone replacement therapy (HRT) led to an increase in risk of breast cancer and heart disease. Fear and confusion among patients, fueled by many misinformed doctors resulted in a dramatic reduction in prescriptions for hormones.

Sadly, the consequences for women have been catastrophic and unnecessary: “Over a 10-year span, starting in 2002, a minimum of 18,601 and as many as 91,610 postmenopausal women died prematurely because of the avoidance of estrogen therapy.”

Since 2002, though not widely publicized, the conclusions of WHI have been discredited while other studies have helped to clarify the most common misconceptions regarding hormone replacement, such as breast cancer risk.

Most recently, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) issued a Position Statement on post-menopausal HRT. Some of their conclusions were:

  • HRT represents the “most effective treatment” for vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes/night sweats) and the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (vaginal dryness, etc.)
  • HRT is effective in maintaining and even restoring bone density depending on the dose used.
  • HRT benefits outweigh risks when begun at age 60 or younger, or within 10 years of the onset of menopause. However, this does not preclude the use of HRT in women over 60.

In addition, contrary to conventional wisdom regarding how long a woman can remain on hormones, the authors state: “there are no data to support routine discontinuation in women aged 65 years.”

 The NAMS Position Statement comes as no surprise to Cenegenics physicians. WHI conclusions were suspect from the beginning. Yet, in spite of all the medical literature regarding HRT since WHI, opposition to menopausal HRT is still quite prevalent, even among physicians. It would seem that HRT opponents either don’t know, or refuse to accept the last 15 years of medical literature, particularly regarding bio-identical HRT, since WHI was originally released in 2002.

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Posted in Medical News by admin