lunes, 13 de agosto de 2012

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Help or Hype? | Medical News and Health Information

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Hormone Replacement Therapy: Help or Hype? | Medical News and Health Information

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Help or Hype? -- Research Summary

WHAT IS HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY? Hormone replacement therapy — medications containing female hormones to replace the ones the body no longer makes after menopause — used to be a standard treatment for women with hot flashes and other menopause symptoms. Hormone therapy (as it's now called) was also thought to have the long-term benefits of preventing heart disease and possibly dementia. Use of hormone therapy changed abruptly when a large clinical trial found that the treatment actually posed more health risks than benefits for one type of hormone therapy, particularly when given to older postmenopausal women. As the concern about health hazards attributed to hormone therapy grew, doctors became less likely to prescribe it. Hormone therapy is no longer recommended for disease prevention, such as heart disease or memory loss. However, further review of clinical trials and new evidence shows that hormone therapy may be a good choice for certain women, depending on their risk factors. (Source:

BENEFITS OF HORMONE THERAPY: Systemic hormone therapy contains systemic estrogen (pill, skin patch, gel, cream or spray form) and is the most effective treatment for relief of hot flashes and night sweats. Estrogen can also ease vaginal symptoms of menopause (dryness, itching, burning and discomfort with intercourse). Low-dose vaginal preparations of estrogen (cream, tablet or ring form) can effectively treat vaginal symptoms and some urinary symptoms, while minimizing absorption into the body. Long-term systemic hormone therapy for the prevention of postmenopausal conditions is no longer routinely recommended, but some data suggest that estrogen can decrease the risk of heart disease when taken early in postmenopausal years. A randomized, controlled clinical trial — the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) — exploring estrogen use and heart disease in younger postmenopausal women is under way. Reports of results are expected in the near future. (Source:

RISKS OF HORMONE THERAPY: The risks of hormone therapy may vary depending on whether estrogen is given alone or with a progestin, and depending on your current age and age at menopause, the dose and type of estrogen, and other health risks such as your risks of heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease, cancer risks and family medical history. Serious risk factors include heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. (Source:

WHO SHOULD USE HORMONE THERAPY?: Your age, type of menopause and time since menopause play a significant role in the risks associated with hormone therapy. Talk with your doctor about your personal risks. (Source:

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