Hormone therapy after menopause

May 29, 2012 1:32:04 PM PDT
Today's new guidelines from the US Preventive Services Task Force look at the question of long term use of hormone therapy after menopause. Is it worth it to prevent chronic conditions like Osteoporosis?

The answer is no.

A government panel says you should not take hormone replacement therapy to prevent bone fractures, dementia or heart disease. That's because the risks outweighs the benefits.

"I would advise that there's no evidence that these therapies prevent important to conditions like heart disease and dementia and i would caution against the very real harms associated with these therapies," said Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo who lead the task force and is the lead author of the guidelines.

The concern and confusion over hormone replacement therapy began a decade ago.

That's when the landmark study by the women's health initiative found that hormone treatment raises the risk of heart disease, breast cancer and blood clots.

Since then the use of hormones has dropped dramatically.

Critics say the risks are overstated and apply mostly to older women.

And keep in mind today's new guidelines do not apply to women looking for short term relief from symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats or vaginal dryness.

For now, many doctors will prescribe hormone therapy temporarily for all those miserable symptoms.

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