The last five years have seen an explosion in the
amount of research on hormone replacement therapy. And, not surprisingly,
much of this research has found that not only are some of the supposed
benefits of HRT non-existent, but that HRT may actually be harmful.
For instance, an article in the Journal of the American Medical
Association in 2000 concluded that women who took the combined
treatment (estrogen and progestin) for five years were 40 percent
more likely to develop breast cancer than women taking estrogen
alone or no hormones. Yet the addition of progesterone or a synthetic
progestin is necessary to protect against the increased risk of
uterine cancer supplemental estrogen brings.
Other studies have found that HRT, once though
to protect women from cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke,
etc.), may even increase a woman’s risk of suffering from a cardiovascular
problem, at least within the first few years of use.
For more on Making the HRT Decision, read
Who Benefits from
Shouldn’t Take HRT?
Replacement Therapies: Synthetic and Natural