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Government panel warns against hormone replacement therapy

A government task force recommended Monday that postmenopausal women who are healthy should not take hormone replacement therapy in order to avoid dementia, bone fractures or heart disease, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force clarified their recommendation does not necessarily include women who take the therapy to reduce symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and night sweats.  Those concerns will be addressed in a soon-to-be released report by the federal government’s Office of Healthy Quality Research, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The recommendation, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is mostly based on a revised analysis of the decade-old Women’s Health Initiative, a 15-year study involving more than 160,000 women, which first linked HRT with higher rates of invasive breast cancer.

Further research has balanced out those fears; however, this latest analysis has found little evidence that HRT is beneficial in protecting against bone fractures and no evidence that the therapy protects against heart disease.  In addition, women who took HRT actually appeared to have a slightly higher risk of developing dementia.

Click for more from the Los Angeles Times.