SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

October 9, 2012

Research supports HRT

Research supports hormone therapy

Menopause study finds reduction of major symptoms

By Melissa Healy LOS ANGELES TIMES

LOS ANGELES — Healthy middle-aged women who take hormones to ease the misery of hot flashes and night sweats have fewer depressive symptoms, less anxiety and tension, and better and more sex than those who do not, according to a new study.

Though the long-term effects of hormone-replacement therapy could not be measured by the new research, it did offer some reassuring findings. It suggested that some women’s cholesterol profiles and metabolic function might improve on hormone-replacement therapy and that blood pressure did not rise during or after a relatively brief stay on hormone replacement.

  • Participants taking oral hormone-replacement pills reported, on average, a slight improvement in their ability to recall printed materials they had read. But for women who received hormones through a transdermal patch, subjective reports of memory problems increased slightly, as did their severity.

As expected, women who got hormone replacement maintained more bone density than those who did not.

The results from the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study, known as KEEPS, were presented on Wednesday at the North American Menopause Society’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

The study is likely to fuel a growing willingness among American women and their physicians to turn to replacement hormones, after a long period of decline following the release of the landmark Women’s Health Initiative study about a decade ago.

The large and comprehensive Women’s Health Initiative included 16,000 women and linked hormone replacement with higher risks of breast cancer and dementia. It also found increases in blood pressure and higher rates of stroke among women who took hormone-replacement therapy.

But later assessments of the data suggested that some of those effects might have been magnified by the fact that some study participants were women in their 60s and 70s who continued taking hormone replacements for many years after their menopausal symptoms probably would have receded on their own.

In the much smaller KEEPS study, 727 younger women who were uniformly healthy at the outset were assigned to one of three groups: a placebo group and two groups that took different doses and formulations of hormone replacement than those used by most women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative study.

The researchers found subtle differences between women who used a patch and those taking daily pills. Women on the pills saw their LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, fall and their HDL, or “good” cholesterol, rise. But their triglycerides, a predictor of heart disease, also rose.

  • The patch improved blood glucose and insulin sensitivity — markers for Type 2 diabetes — in those who wore it. Oral hormones did not.

(Jan’s Comment:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My Own mother went through a bout of cancer which was caused by the hormone replacement therapy she underwent.  She was given Stilbesterol and eventually recognized as an unwise choice.  However, she was one who took HRT into her 70’s.  I on the other hand never took a thing.   Apparently I had a certain testiness which manifested making me more difficult to get along with and I do remember feeling more irritable, but nothing extreme.  There was the warmth thing, but nothing I couldn’t handle and it never crossed my mind to take anything for it. 

Many I have known who might have been nutso without some help – – so I get it.  There are more natural methods which are very helpful and not injurious to the system.  One might go back to my archives and look at Dr Jonathan Wright’s “interview (11-5-11) That would be the best advice I know as this man is a fore-runner of quite a few innovative “treatments”.   Additionally,  There is also an excellent interview between Dr Wright and Dr Joseph Mercola which is dated (6-6-12) and I think this is quite helpful.   He has a newsletter which is excellent and still practices at the Tahoma Clinic in Washington state.   The problems come about when taking laboratory chemicals from pharmaceuticals.  There isn’t one with out side effects or harmful reactions.  Take your time and be thoughtful.   Jan)

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