Previous studies show conflicting results over whether hormone replacement therapy is safe and effective for postmenopausal women. A recent study examines the pros and cons of this controversial therapy.
Researchers studied women who used combined HRT therapy for five years. All the women studied were 50 years old. Some of the participants had menopausal symptoms, while others did not.Results show women free of menopausal symptoms should not use HRT therapy because of the associated risk of breast cancer. Researchers say, "HRT for the primary prevention of chronic diseases in women free of menopausal symptoms is unjustified, with a net harm that increases with baseline risk of breast cancer."However, researchers say their study shows HRT is beneficial in women with menopausal symptoms, with benefit decreasing with increasing risk of breast cancer.
Researchers say overall benefits of HRT depend on the severity of symptoms and how those symptoms affect women's quality of life.Thus researchers conclude, "A decision analysis tailored to an individual woman would be more appropriate in clinical practice than a population based approach."