| == Thumbs down for HRT ===
Drug benefits are far less than thought, US study revelas
Two major studies of homone replacement therapy, both halted because of adverse results, show the drugs have no role in preventing heart disease and other chronic conditions, health experts said last week.
But they said the therapy does appear to be relatively safe and useful at low doses for short periods of time for treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.
“Hormone therapy is not the panacea” once thought, said Marian Limacher, a cardiologist and professor of medicine at the Uniersity of Florida in Gainesville who was involved in the studies.
Women who have taken hormones for years because they felt good and thought they were protecting themselves against heart disease should seek alternatives, said Barbara Alving, director of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.
The researchers spoke during a teleconference coinciding with the publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association of their study.
The research found that oestrogen replacement pills failed to reduce women’s risk of heart disease and increased their chances of having a stroke. It also found no significant effect on the risk of breast or colorectal cancer but there ws a reduction in the risk of hip and other fractures.
The study was the second large trial of hormone replacement therapy stopped in two years. In Jule 2002, women taking oestrogen and progestin a combination most often sold as Wyeth’s Prempro were told to stop because of the risk of heart attack, stroke and some forms of cancer.Stephen Hulley and Deborah Grady, physicians at the University of California in San Franciso, made similar comments in an editorial in the same journal this week.
Hulley and Grady said it can be concluded now that “hormone therapy is effective for treating menopausal symptoms” such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. “In the absence of evidence for an overall net benefit of post-menopausal treatment with oestrogen alone and with the evidence that oestrigen plus progestin is harmful
Neither therapy should be used for preventing disease,” the editorial concluded.
Hormone replacement therapy grew rapidly in popularity amid beliefs that it might proted against cardiovascular disease, some cancers and brittle bones. But prescriptions declined markedly after a series of alarming studies.
The US Food and Drug Administration now recommends that post-menopausal women preferring hormone therapy for hot flashes or vaginal dryness take the lowest possible dose for the shortest possible time.
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Posted by Kanchana Kerdmee
Srithanya Hospital Library
Posted By: STY Library - Date :