the past 20 years, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) among
postmenopausal women has steadily increased, but recent studies
have determined that some combinations of hormone therapy
drugs increase the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular
disease. Has this new evidence had an affect on HRT use?
Interested in determining whether the use of hormone therapy
declined following published evidence in July 2002 documenting
its adverse health affects, researchers studied trends in
HRT use among postmenopausal women from 1995 through July
2003, and found that obstetrician/gynecologists supplied over
70 percent of hormone therapy prescriptions. Hormone therapy
use increased from 58 million in 1995 to 90 million in 1999,
then stabilized through June 2002. However, following the
July 2002 findings, prescriptions began steadily declining.
Based on this data, researchers projected that only 57 million
women would use hormone replacement therapy in 2003 (less
than the total users in 1995), and that even fewer would utilize
the therapy in 2004.
Are you still using HRT? Talk to your doctor about the benefits
and risks of taking hormone replacements, and investigate
nonpharmaceutical options that may be just as effective --
Hersh AL, Stefanick ML, Stafford RS. National use of postmenopausal
hormone therapy: annual trends and response to recent evidence.
Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan. 7,
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