Nix (Again) On Hormone Replacement Therapy
Postmenopausal women have been warned to avoid hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a strategy to prevent the development of osteoporosis and diabetes. This latest word comes from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the nation’s leading authority on disease prevention. The panel restated its earlier conclusion that the risks of HRT combining estrogen and progesterone (or estrogen alone for women who have had a hysterectomy) outweigh the benefits. The recommendation updates one that the task force issued in 2012 and applies to both pills and patches. HRT presents an increased risk for invasive breast cancer, dementia, stroke, heart disease and urinary incontinence, while taking estrogen alone can lead to stroke, blood clots and gallbladder disease, the panel noted. The only exceptions to the latest advice apply to women considering short-term hormone therapy to help manage hot flashes, night sweats or other menopausal symptoms as well as those who have experienced premature menopause or have had their ovaries removed prior to menopause. In those circumstances, women usually are advised to take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time.
US Preventive Services Task Force, “Hormone Therapy for the Primary Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Postmenopausal Women.” JAMA December 12, 2017, doi:10.1001/jama.2017.18261
Also in this week’s bulletin: