by: ASRM Office of Public Affairs
Published in ASRM Press Release
Statement attributable to Roger A. Lobo, MD, Past-President, American Society for Reproductive Medicine
Embargoed for release: We understand that BMJ will lift its embargo at 23:30 hours (UK time) Tuesday 09 October 2012.
Washington, DC - “This is a very significant piece of research, and should reassure the millions of women who turn to hormone therapy for relief of their menopausal symptoms.
This study shows that appropriately used hormone therapy is not only safe, but in fact is likely to improve the cardiovascular health of women.
Although the study was not large, the long term follow up of 16 years is also reassuring that there was no increase in adverse events including cancer. Patients need to understand the key difference between this and the Women´s Health Initiative (WHI) study which was stopped out of a concern for the health of the participants: The age of women when they began the hormone therapy.
In the WHI study, women were in their 60´s when they began taking hormones, in this study, the average age of the women was only 50 when they first began using HT. This study much more closely resembles the use of HT in clinical practice. Data from WHI in women aged 50-59 also showed that women receiving estrogen alone had a significantly reduced rate of CVD and a reduced mortality in the 11 year follow-up.
HT use by women in their 50´s is not only most appropriate for the relief of menopausal symptoms, but also when it appears to provide the greatest health benefits.
This should not be considered the last word on the effects of hormone therapy. More research is needed.
Patients should discuss their own risk profiles with their physicians before contemplating starting or stopping any treatment regime. Nevertheless, we think this is very solid study, and one that brings good news for women suffering from menopausal symptoms.”
“Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy reduces cardiovascular events - A 10-year randomised trial in recently postmenopausal women.” British Medical Journal. Schierbeck, Louise, et al.
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of 8,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology. Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the Society of Reproductive Surgeons, and the Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists.