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HRT Linked to Shorter but Better-Quality Life

Short-Term Hormone Therapy Can Shorten Life by Weeks but Improve Quality

'On the Same Page'

North American Menopause Society President Wulf Utian, MD, PhD, agrees, but he says the newly developed computer model adds little to the clinical picture.

The model uses WHI data to simulate the effects of short-term hormone use on 50-year-old menopausal women. Utian points out that the vast majority of women participating in the WHI were much older and very few of them had symptoms related to menopause.

While a clear increased risk for blood clots has been shown with short-term use of hormones, there is little clinical evidence for an increase in heart attack or breast cancer risk with short-term use, Utian says. And there is absolutely no evidence indicating an increased risk of death from heart disease among younger women taking hormones for symptom relief.

For the last three years, Utian has led the North American Menopause Society's advisory panel on hormone therapy. The group is finalizing its 2004 report.

"It seems more and more that we are all on the same page in saying that symptomatic women shouldn't be concerned about taking hormone therapy for one, two, or even three years," he says.

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