New Study Explores the Safety of Hormone Therapy in Women Over 65 - Ellen Dolgen
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New Study Explores the Safety of Hormone Therapy in Women Over 65

Welcome back to Menopause Mondays! For those of you approaching or already over 65, who are clinging to those transdermal estradiol patches for dear life, fearing they might be your last lifeline to sanity amidst the whirlwind of menopausal mayhem—this blog is for you! Today, we’re discussing a groundbreaking study published in the Journal of the Menopause Society on the effects of hormone therapy (HT) in women over 65. This study, conducted using prescription drugs and records of a whopping 10 million senior Medicare women from 2007 to 2020, provides crucial insights into the use of menopausal hormone therapy beyond age 65 and its implications for your overall health.

Research Overview

This extensive research aimed to assess how different preparations of menopausal hormone therapy impact various health outcomes, including all-cause mortality, cancer risks, cardiovascular diseases, and dementia. The study examined the effects of estrogen alone and estrogen-progestogen combination therapy, considering different estrogen types, administration routes, and dose strengths.

Key Findings

The results are enlightening. Firstly, compared to never using or discontinuing hormone therapy after age 65, the use of estrogen alone beyond this age was associated with significant risk reductions in mortality, breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, congestive heart failure, venous thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation, acute myocardial infarction, and dementia.

However, when it comes to estrogen-progestogen combination therapy, the picture becomes more nuanced. While both estrogen-progestogen combinations were associated with increased breast cancer risks, this risk could be mitigated by using low doses of transdermal or vaginal estrogen-progestogen. Additionally, estrogen-progestogen therapy exhibited significant risk reductions in endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, and venous thromboembolism, albeit with variations between different types of progestogens.

Implications and Recommendations

These findings challenge conventional wisdom and provide valuable guidance for healthcare professionals and menopausal women alike. Contrary to previous beliefs, continuing hormone therapy beyond age 65 may offer substantial benefits for certain health outcomes, especially when using low doses, non-oral administration, and specific estrogen-progestogen combinations.

Navigating the world of menopause can often feel like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded, with hormone therapy being our trusty safety harness.

So, fear not—buckle up your estradiol patches, ladies! The latest science is great news! Gone are the days of uncertainty and hesitation surrounding hormone therapy in our golden years. With each revelation from this groundbreaking study, we’re not just reclaiming control over our menopausal journey but rewriting the narrative altogether. The journey ahead is filled with a whole lot of estrogen-fueled empowerment!

My Motto: Suffering in silence is OUT! Reaching out is IN!

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*EllenDolgen.com does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation about any tests, studies, practices, procedures, treatments, services, opinions, healthcare providers, physicians, or medical institutions that may be mentioned or referenced.

 

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2 thoughts on “New Study Explores the Safety of Hormone Therapy in Women Over 65”

  1. I would like to know where Duavee (estrogen as premarin + SERM, no progestin) stands vis a vis this same risk spectrum, when compared to estrogen alone, and conventional estrogen + progestin. Thank you.

    1. Michelle, good question! I am not a doctor so I can’t give medical advice. Are you going to a Menopause Specialist? It is very important to go to someone who is medically trained in menopause and up on the latest studies and science. If you don’t have one….head over to the Menopause Society at Menopause.org and click on find a practitioner. Generally speaking according to the latest information from the doctors that I interview, there seems to be a slight increase in stroke risk from oral conjugated estrogen vs bioidentical estradiol transdermally administered (through the skin – like a patch). Duavee is a conjugated estrogen (not bioidentical) plus bazedoxifene. Some women cannot tolerate progesterone. Speak to your Menopause Specialist about your options and the risks vs benefits that fit your health needs. For example, do you have any increased risk factor for stroke? These kinds of discussions are important in selecting the right hormone therapy for you. If you haven’t read my Menopause Mondays Blog- Debunking Outdated Information on Hormone Therapy with Dr. James Simon – it might be helpful to read prior to meeting with your docotor. https://ellendolgen.com/2024/04/debunking-outdated-misconceptions-on-hormone-therapy-with-dr-james-simon/

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