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What is Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)?

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a treatment for women who have reached or passed menopause, which often is referred to as “the change of life.” HRT involves taking small doses of one or two female hormones, estrogen and progesterone.

What are (HRT) medications prescribed for?

Hormone Replacement Therapy, such as Prempro, Premarin and Provera , were prescribed to reduce the symptoms of menopause. For years doctors believed the long-term use of hormone replacement therapy drugs were safe and protected against osteoporosis and heart disease.

What are the dangers associated with (HRT)?

Recent studies now show that hormone replacement therapy places women at a higher risk for breast cancer, heart attack, stroke, blood clots, ovarian cancer, gallbladder cancer, lupus and scleroderma.

The Women’s Health Initiative study, a $700 million, eight year publicly funded study of the benefits of hormone replacement therapy, was stopped three years earlier than planned because of the risks associated with these drugs. On July 9, 2002, the National Institute of Health halted the study because the overall risks of the drugs exceeded any health benefits. Specifically, the study found that there was a higher incidence of serious injury for women who took Prempro compared to those who received a placebo as follows:

  • 26% increase in breast cancer;
  • 29% increase in heart attacks;
  • 22% increase in total cardiovascular disease;
  • 41% increase in strokes; and
  • a doubling of rates of blood clots.

Additionally, researchers have concluded that long-term use of estrogen may increase the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 60 percent.

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