Women’s Health Initiative Reaffirms Use of Hormone Replacement Therapy For Younger Women
Bethesda, MD - Investigators from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Hormone Trials are reaffirming conclusions that hormone therapy is not recommended for the prevention of chronic disease, but may remain a reasonable option for the short-term management of menopausal symptoms for younger women.
“While the risk versus benefits profile for estrogen alone is positive for younger women, it’s important to note that these data only pertain to the short-term use of hormone therapy,” said Jacques Rossouw, M.D., chief of the Women’s Health Initiative Branch within the NHLBI’s Division of Cardiovascular Sciences. “There are no reliable data on the risks or benefits of long-term hormone therapy use for the prevention of chronic diseases.”
The update and overview, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) presents the extended follow-up data for the first time and highlights findings related to conditions that affect quality of life.
The WHI, which is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), followed women during a 13-year period.
“The combination of the six to seven years of intervention combined with the extended post-intervention follow-up make these hormone therapy medications among the best studied medications in medical history,” said Dr. JoAnn Manson, a principal investigator for the Women’s Health Initiative; chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, Boston. “There are very few other treatments with this much information about the balance of benefits and risks over such a long period of time that include such a long post-intervention phase. The ultimate goal of this paper and the analysis is to help women and their health care providers make informed decisions.” Continue>
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