Hormone Replacement Therapy

Spring 2008 CSANews Issue 66  |  Posted date : May 24, 2008.Back to list

The heart attack risk associated with HRT, which has been prevalent in medical journals and even in this humble magazine, may have been misdiagnosed and overstated!  A 2002 report by the Women's Health Initiative revealed the link between HRT and increased incidence of heart attack in women taking the drugs.  A closer look at the findings which led to this summation revealed that the average age of the 27,000 women who participated in the study was 63.  This test group of older women actually skewed the data and obscured the fact that when "younger" women take HRT for a short period of time to offset the effects of menopause, the therapy is safe and may even be cardio-protective.  

The Journal of the American Medical Association published the report which showed that women who took HRT less than 10 years after menopause were 24% less likely to suffer a heart attack than a similar group of women who took  placebo.

Conversely, women who took HRT more than 20 years after menopause were 28% more likely to suffer a heart attack than a similar group of women who took a placebo.

The current opinion is that HRT should only be used to relieve the symptoms of menopause.  Previously, HRT was prescribed to counter the effects of several ailments, such as osteoporosis, for which we now have safe and viable alternatives.

Starting a Hormone Replacement Therapy regimen is a serious decision and the risks should be measured carefully against the benefits.  Here are some resources to help you decide if HRT is right for you:

The latest WHI data - www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi

North American Menopause Society (NAMS) - www.menopause.org/default.htm

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - www.acog.org

Related links
The latest WHI data
North American Menopause Society (NAMS)