Hormone therapy reduces heart disease without increasing cancer risk

USA Today reports that a “new study, published in the British medical journal BMJ,” has “found some evidence that the hearts of women who take estrogen, with or without progestin, stay at least as healthy as the hearts of women who don’t take hormones in the decade right after menstruation ends.”

The article points out that “women have been much less likely to use hormones since 2002, when the much larger Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) found increases in heart problems and breast cancer among hormone users”

MedPage Today reports that the new study found that “a decade of continuous hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) reduced the risk of heart failure and myocardial infarction (MI) by half without increasing the risk of cancer or thromboembolic events.”

Investigators found that, “during follow-up for as long as 16 years, twice as many women (33 versus 16) died or had an MI or heart failure without HRT as compared with women randomized to receive hormone therapy.”

The researchers reported that, “among the women who received continuous HRT, investigators found no increased risk of cancer, breast cancer, thrombosis, or stroke.”

WebMD points out, however, that while “the results of the new study look promising, experts who were not involved in the research caution that it is not a game-changer.”

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