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|Title:||Evidence-based assessment of the impact of the WHI on women's health|
|Citation:||Climacteric, 2012; 15(3):281-287|
|Publisher:||Parthenon Publishing Group|
|H.G. Burger, A.H. MacLennan, K-E. Huang and C. Castelo-Branco|
|Abstract:||Following the announcement of the fi rst results of the Women ’ s Health Initiative (WHI) to the media in 2002, prior to their scientific publication, the resulting panic headlines had an immediate and lasting negative effect on use of menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) around the world. Rates of use dropped by 40 – 80%. Symptomatic women then sought multiple alternative therapies but the majority of these have no greater effect than the effect seen from placebo in well-conducted trials of HRT. Some of these therapies have risks. Although anecdotally most menopause practitioners after 2002 can attest to having to counsel large numbers of women with debilitating menopausal symptoms who were too frightened to consider HRT, it is diffi cult to document loss of health-related quality of life in large population studies as they were not conducted. Similarly, the positive or negative effects of the marked decline in HRT on long-term morbidities and mortality have yet to be fully assessed. Recent studies have shown an increase in postmenopausal fractures and in some, but not all, populations a small temporary decline in breast cancer. Cardiovascular outcomes may not be apparent for another decade. Short-term, randomized, placebo-controlled trials confirm that HRTis the only therapy that effectively improves health-related quality of life in symptomatic women through a reduction in vasomotor and urogenital symptoms, joint pains and insomnia, while improving sexuality. The results of the re-analyses of the WHI data and new data from other studies do not justify the continuing negative attitude to HRT in symptomatic women who start HRT near menopause.|
|Keywords:||Humans; Complementary Therapies; Estrogen Replacement Therapy; Risk Factors; Evidence-Based Medicine; Menopause; Quality of Life; Aged; Middle Aged; Women's Health; Female; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic|
|Rights:||© 2012 International Menopause Society|
|Appears in Collections:||Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications|
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