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Type: Journal article
Title: Postmenopausal health interventions: time to move on from the Women's Health Initiative?
Author: Zaw, J.J.T.
Howe, P.R.C.
Wong, R.H.X.
Citation: Ageing Research Reviews, 2018; 48:79-86
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 1568-1637
Statement of
Jay Jay Thaung Zaw, Peter Ranald Charles Howe, Rachel Heloise Xiwen Wong
Abstract: Menopause is a critical period during which, without timely interventions, increased risks of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, osteoporosis, sexual dysfunction and premature cognitive decline will contribute to diminished quality-of-life in women. Hormone therapy (HT) used to be the standard of care for managing vasomotor symptoms and prevention of chronic diseases until publication of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002. Concerned about risks highlighted in WHI publications, many symptomatic women promptly ceased HT which resulted in increased vasomotor symptoms, osteoporosis-related-fractures and insomnia. Data from post-hoc WHI analyses and newer clinical trials consistently show reductions in coronary heart disease and mortality when estrogen therapy is initiated soon after menopause, whereas administration in later years and/or in combination with progesterone carries increased risks. However, no validated primary preventive strategies are available for younger postmenopausal women (<60 years), highlighting the need to re-evaluate the use of estrogen alone for which the risk-benefit balance appears positive. In contrast, in older women (>60 years), risks associated with oral HT exceed benefits; however transdermal estrogen may offer a safer alternative and should be further evaluated. Alternative therapies such as phytoestrogens and non-hormonal prescriptions may be beneficial for older women or those who are unsuitable for HT. Long-term head-to-head comparisons of HT with alternative interventions are warranted to confirm their efficacy for chronic disease prevention.
Keywords: Chronic disease prevention
Hormone therapy
Non-Hormonal interventions
Rights: © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1016/j.arr.2018.10.005
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