n Obstetrics and Gynaecology Forum - Should hormone therapy be terminated by age 65 years? : guest editorial




Prior to the publication of the prematurely terminated Estrogen and Progestin (EP) arm of the WHI trial in 2002, hormone therapy (HT) in postmenopausal women was not very complicated. Available evidence from observational studies suggested that the majority of postmenopausal women would benefit from what was then termed hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Besides relief of menopausal symptoms and prevention of osteoporosis, it was widely believed that postmenopausal women using HRT also enjoyed significant protection against coronary heart disease (CHD); hence HRT was easily prescribed without much deliberation. The first WHI study results published in 2002 failed to show this benefit in the population it studied. These findings as well as the increased relative risk for the development of breast cancer received extensive coverage in the media, and it wasn't long before HRT was regarded as being dangerous. The HERS II study was published in the same month and concluded that HT should not be used to reduce risk for CHD events in women with CHD.


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