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New HRT rethink plea

Monday July 9th, 2012

A fresh plea is made today for a rethink on the hazards posed to women by hormone replacement therapy.

The date marks ten years since US researchers announced they had found a range of side effects linked to extended use of HRT.

Following the announcement worldwide use of HRT slumped.

But a decade later the International Menopause Society has called on US government officials to revise advice on the US of HRT.

The Society argues that the analysis of the Womens Health Initiative failed to identify the benefits enjoyed by women undergoing menopause - and that the side-effect mainly affected older women, who had been sold the treatment as an "elixir of youth".

It says that more recent research also shows that HRT can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Last month its journal Climacteric published evidence suggesting that the benefits might outweigh the risks for menopausal women.

Today the Society president Dr Tobie de Villiers said the US National Institutes of Health had not updated its guidance for seven years.

He said: "The Women's Health Initiative was a billion dollar project, and the NIH has an obligation to present a balanced opinion of the results. The least that they can do is to agree that HRT is a good option for symptom relief for most women going through the menopause.

"The IMS and in fact the whole menopause community, will be very happy to work with the NIH to provide a balanced review of the evidence."

Tags: North America | Pharmaceuticals | Women’s Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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