Among postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative trials, use of HRT for 5 to 7 years was not associated with risk of all-cause, cardiovascular or cancer death over 18 years of follow-up, according to a study published by JAMA.

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The RCOG and the BMS have issued a comment on the research results:

Dr Heather Currie, spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and British Menopause Society (BMS), says:  “We welcome these encouraging results of long term follow up of the WHI trial which show that hormone therapy use in women who experienced menopause was not associated with an increased risk of all-cause, cardiovascular or cancer death. The question around the possibility of decreased mortality for women who start hormone therapy within 10 years of the menopause is not addressed by this report but is gaining strength from other evidence . These findings should be helpful to both women and doctors, especially when considering whether to start hormone therapy.

“Even though not every woman requires hormone therapy, they should have accurate information about menopause and treatment options. Hormone therapy can be a safe and effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, particularly with the management of hot flushes. For each woman, however,  the risks and benefits are different, depending on her medical history and her symptoms.  “If a woman is experiencing menopausal symptoms that are having an impact upon her daily life, we strongly encourage her to speak to a GP. We would like to reassure women that treatment and support is available.”