Are You Still Using Hormone Replacement Therapy?
For 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 -- and safer.
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, 2004;291(1), pp47-53.
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