A paper published in the BMJ Group’s Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Healthcare cast doubt on the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and the Million Women Study, which associated hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with an increased risk of breast cancer. As years go by it is becoming more evident that the Million Women Study is unreliable at best.
The biggest problem with the WHI study was with the timing of starting HRT in women. The data suggests that the women who started HRT after 10 years from their last period suffered from an increased risk of cancer, DVT, and stroke. It appears that starting HRT within the first 10 years of menopause greatly decreases these risks. The study states that…“starting HRT early after menopause and taking it for 10 years following menopause had significantly reduced risk of mortality, heart failure, or heart attack, without any apparent increase of cancer, venous thromboembolisms (DVT) or stroke.”
I do believe the benefits of HRT will gain more traction in the medical world in the next decade. At this time, HRT is only recommended for women suffering from severe vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause; hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, etc. There are studies being done now that are not only showing benefits for cardiovascular health but also bone and brain health. This is an exciting time for women’s health and I definitely look forward to the advances in this field and keeping you up to date!