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The findings of a study has confirmed the theory that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) does not benefit older women, and should not be prescribed to them in an attempt to prevent chronic conditions such as heart disease.
In 1999, boffins undertook the Women’s International Study of long Duration Oestrogen after Menopause (WISDOM) trial to assess the long-term risks and benefits of HRT after the menopause.
It was stopped after a 2002 Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) trial found that women many years past menopause that were taking HRT had more heart attacks and strokes than those not taking the HRT.
The finding resulted in millions of women the world over discontinuing with the therapy, reports the BMJ.
Now however, boffins believe that the risk of heart attack and stroke only applies to older women, and not younger women in early menopause, for whom it remains a safe short term treatment to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life. These findings are based on the WISDOM trial that have recently been published.
As a part of their study, the researchers conducting the WISDOM trial identified 5,692 healthy women in the UK, Australia and New Zealand with an average age of 63 years and 15 years after the menopause.
Women who had not had a hysterectomy were split at random into two groups.
One group of women was given a daily dose of combined hormone therapy (oestrogen and progestogen) while the other was the control group.
Women who had had a hysterectomy were further split between combined hormone treatment, oestrogen only and a placebo.
The volunteers were then monitored for an average of one year, with main outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporotic fractures, breast cancer and deaths being recorded.
The researchers found that there was a significant increase in the number of major cardiovascular events women in the combined hormone therapy group when they were compared to the placebo group.
However, they also noted that the there was not much significant difference in the two groups in rates for cerebrovascular disease, breast or other cancers, fractures and overall deaths.
The study thus reinforced experts’ belief that
Source:The Times Of India