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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: August 2009

10 - Hormone therapy

from Part II - Hormonal changes

Summary

Hormone therapy (HT) is the combined use of estrogen and progestin (EPT), or estrogen alone (ET), by postmenopausal or perimenopausal women. Information and education by clinicians is beneficial to women in making their decision regarding HRT/ET. More than 30 case-control and prospective observational studies have suggested that HT provided primary prevention against coronary heart disease (CHD), secondary prevention for women with prior myocardial infarction (MI), and both primary and secondary prevention against fractures from osteoporosis. HT appears to increase the risk of stroke. Studies linking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or ERT to ovarian cancer have been inconclusive. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women aged 65 years and over be screened routinely for osteoporosis. Additional health benefits from estrogen remain to be established. Effective means to minimize or eliminate risk may be instigated, including, perhaps, effectively identifying women at greater risk from HT.
FURTHER RESOURCES
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health: www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/women/pht_facts.htm
Women's Health Initiative (WHI) of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health: www.whi.org
WHI site at which publications regarding HT are linked (often full text references): http://www.whi.org/etc/pubs.asp
The Office on Women's Health, US Department of Health and Human Services: www.4women.gov/owh
North American Menopause Society: www.menopause.org
Postmenopausal women at increased risk for breast cancer can compare safety and efficacy of chemoprophylaxis (tamoxifen and raloxifene) in reducing the risk of the disease. Risk assessment tool at: www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool
Duke University site for women: www.thewomenshealthsite.org
National Osteoporosis Foundation: www.nof.org
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