Hormone Therapy for Menopause: Myths, Benefits and Harms (Recorded at Pri-Med South)
This talk will update participant knowledge about hormone therapy for menopause, focusing on our current understanding of the myths, benefits, and harms of treatment. The myth that hormone therapy is, in general, harmful, is based on data looking at the consequences of hormone therapy in individuals aged 60 and older. In contrast, the data on most individuals who are either under age 60 or less than 10 years from menopause show that the benefits appear to outweigh the risks. A clinical practice guideline published by the Endocrine Society recommends an individualized approach to treatment based on calculating baseline cardiovascular and breast cancer before initiating therapy. The benefits of hormone therapy for menopause include management of hot flashes and vaginal atrophy. It is not recommended for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, or dementia. In the Women’s Health Initiative combined hormone therapy trial, risks included coronary events, stroke, venous thromboembolism, and breast cancer. No increase in either coronary heart disease or breast cancer risk was seen with unopposed estrogen. These results suggest that the progestin played an important role in the increased coronary and breast cancer risk seen with combined therapy.
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