Hormone therapy is not risky as you think, new study shows

Millions of menopausal women will be glad to hear that hormone replacement therapy, long considered too dangerous to be of any use, may be safe after all.

So if eating tofu and doing yoga isn’t cutting it for you in terms of menopause systems, you can relax a little bit. To be sure, the science here is far from clear cut, which is part of why so many women are confused on the best practices for coping with the change. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness and osteoporosis are among the health problems that bedevil women of a certain age.

However this new research shows that, while all medical treatments carry risks, in this case they may well be worth the benefits provided when it comes to hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It may be safe for women, especially those who enter menopause early, to use hormone therapy for up to seven years, as the LA Times noted.

Dr. Andrew Cook goes over information on hormone supplements with patient Lisa Collins at his office in Los Gatos on Aug. 16, 2010. (Gary Reyes /Mercury News) 

A new randomized study of 27,347 women who were tracked for 18 years, showed that women who took hormone medication were no more likely to die of any cause than women who were given a placebo.  The Women’s Health Initiative hormone therapy trials tested the most common types of hormone therapy ― estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin ― to analyse the benefits and risks of menopause hormone therapy, as HuffPost reported.

Researchers examined data from two trials, which included postmenopausal women with an average age of 63 at enrollment, and explored the effect of treatment over five to seven years, with 18 years of cumulative follow-up. They focused on the effect of hormone therapy on mortality rates.

“Mortality rates are the ultimate ‘bottom line’ when assessing the net effect of a medication on serious and life-threatening health outcomes,” lead author JoAnn E. Manson, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a past president of The…

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