Hormone replacement helps young women

January 26, 2007

The benefits of short-term hormone replacement therapy likely outweigh the risks for younger women, the Ohio-based North American Menopause Society said.

The society issued a new position statement on hormone therapy that will be published in its journal, Menopause. The society said the risks and benefits of hormone therapy change as a woman ages.

In an example cited in Friday's Wall Street Journal, women 20 years past menopause and taking hormones had a 71 percent higher risk of a heart attack, while women closer to menopause had an 11 percent lower risk, the Wall Street Journal said.

The newspaper said that hormones are still only recommended for short-term treatment of menopausal symptoms.

Nearly five years ago, the Women's Health Initiative study was stopped early because older participants suffered a high rate of heart attacks.

"I think these guidelines help to put the recent evidence and the new studies into perspective for women," Harvard researcher JoAnn Manson, who worked on both that study and the new guidelines, told the Wall Street Journal. "I think the statement is likely to be reassuring to them that with short-term use the benefits of hormones are likely to outweigh the risks."

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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