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Postmenopausal women should not take hormones to prevent chronic diseases (2017-12-28)

Postmenopausal women should not use hormone therapy to prevent chronic medical conditions, such as coronary heart disease, dementia, stroke, fractures, and breast cancer, because the risk of significant side effects outweighs the unclear evidence of a benefit, according to a U.S. government-backed panel of experts.

Still, hormone therapy was once commonly prescribed to prevent these conditions, until results from the large Womenís Health Initiative (WHI) study revealed serious adverse health effects in postmenopausal women who received menopausal hormone therapy.

To update the 2012 US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on the use of menopausal hormone therapy for the primary prevention of chronic conditions the USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the benefits and harms of systemic (ie, oral or transdermal) hormone therapy for the prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women and whether outcomes vary among women in different subgroups or by timing of intervention after menopause.

The review did not address hormone therapy for preventing or treating menopausal symptoms.

The USPSTF determined that the magnitude of both the benefits and the harms of hormone therapy in postmenopausal women is small to moderate.

Therefore, the USPSTF concluded with moderate certainty that combined estrogen and progestin has no net benefit for the primary prevention of chronic conditions for most postmenopausal women with an intact uterus and that estrogen alone has no net benefit for the primary prevention of chronic conditions for most postmenopausal women who have had a hysterectomy.

The USPSTF recommends against the use of combined estrogen and progestin for the primary prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women.

The USPSTF recommends against the use of estrogen alone for the primary prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal women who have had a hysterectomy.

For more information
US Preventive Services Task Force
Recommendation Statement
Hormone Therapy for the Primary Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Postmenopausal Women
Link...

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