Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size
A
A
A

Bone Up on Hormone Replacement Therapy

By
WebMD Health News

April 13, 2001 -- After menopause, women start to lose bone in critical areas of the skeleton, placing them at risk for bone fractures. For years now, experts have said that taking hormone replacement therapy after menopause is one of the best ways to slow bone loss and prevent these fractures and the loss of height that occurs as women age. Now a new study says that in women who don't actually have osteoporosis, hormone replacement may not be doing the trick.

Bone loss is linked to the sharp decline in a woman's natural levels of the hormone estrogen that occurs around menopause. Significant bone loss leads to the brittle-bone disease osteoporosis.

Although studies in women with osteoporosis have indicated that hormone replacement therapy may substantially reduce fracture risk, results of studies conducted in women without osteoporosis have been mixed.

And these new findings, published in the April 15 issue of the American Journal of Medicine, don't help to clarify the situation much.

The study raises suggests that hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, may not be effective at preventing fractures among women who don't have established osteoporosis, says study author Jane Cauley, DrPh, of the University of Pittsburgh. She says any usefulness of the therapy in preventing fractures may be restricted to those women who already have the brittle-bone disease.

The four-year study of more than 2,700 women aged 44-79 found no difference in the incidence of fractures and no difference in height loss between women taking hormone replacement -- either estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin -- and women taking no hormones.

But Robert Recker, MD, disagrees that this new study rules out HRT or estrogen as an effective way to reduce fractures. He argues this because of the way the study was conducted. Although the authors collected data on fractures, the main goal of the study was to study the effect of the hormones on heart disease -- not the effect on fractures.

And because the women in the study did not have osteoporosis, he says, there is no way to know that they would be the best candidates for the therapy.

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
 
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
insomnia
Is it menopause or something else?
 
woman in bathtub
Slideshow
period
VIDEO
 
bp app on smartwatch and phone
Slideshow
estrogen gene
Quiz
 

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
Slideshow
hot water bottle on stomach
Quiz
 
question
Assessment
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
Quiz