Hormone Replacement Therapy

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Story Updated: Oct 3, 2013

Hormone replacement therapy during menopause has been under fire since research found the health risks may outweigh the benefits. HRT had been used to treat things like hot flashes, but it was also believed to ward off heart disease and cognitive decline.

Now, a long range study concludes that HRT really doesn't help combat chronic disease...though it may work for a select few, younger patients.

Using data from two studies, researchers in Boston analyzed more than 27-thousand postmenopausal women, ages 50 through 79, who were enrolled at 40 U.S. centers in 1993.

Overall...women using HRT were at higher risk for heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, pulmonary embolism, dementia, gallbladder disease, and urinary incontinence.

On the benefit side there was a substantial reduction in hip fracture and other fractures, a reduction in colon cancer, in diabetes and improvement in many symptoms such as the hot flashes and night sweats and some improvement in sleep.

The researchers believe that hormone therapy could still be a reasonable option for healthy women during early menopause with moderate to severe menopausal symptoms...but fell short of recommending it.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV-Ê with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com