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Menopausal women who use HRT are not at greater risk of developing heart disease, scientists say


Menopausal women who use HRT are not at greater risk of developing heart disease, scientists say

  • South Korean researchers say the benefits of HRT generally outweigh the risks
  • Women taking HRT were more likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes
  • The team said there was no significant risk and their findings should reduce concerns

Hormone replacement therapy helps relieve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.

Experts have debated the pros and cons of HRT for years, with some studies warning that it can lead to heart disease.

But now a study has allayed fears, ruling that women taking the drugs are not more likely to develop the deadly condition.

South Korean researchers say the benefits of HRT – usually given in tablets, gels and patches – usually outweigh the risks.

HRT tablets (pictured) work by replacing sex hormones that decline during menopause and improve menopausal symptoms that affect 80 percent of women

Everything you need to know about menopause

Menopause is when a woman stops having her period naturally and can no longer conceive naturally.

It is a normal part of aging and usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55 when levels of the sex hormone estrogen drop in a woman.

Eight in ten women will experience menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, low mood or anxiety, and memory problems.

Women are advised to consult their primary care physician if their symptoms are difficult to treat.

Treatments doctors can provide include hormone replacement therapy, such as tablets, skin patches, and gels that replace estrogen.

Source: NHS

Menopause occurs when a woman no longer has her period and can therefore no longer conceive naturally.

Researchers at Seoul National University analyzed data from 58,000 menopausal women.

Their health records were then compared with a group of 50,000 women who were not taking the drugs.

The results showed that women taking HRT were slightly more likely to develop heart disease, as well as type 2 diabetes.

But the team, whose findings were published in the journal Menopause, concluded there was no significant risk.

Experts write in the paper: ‘Hormone therapy is the most effective treatment for menopausal symptoms.

‘[However] menopausal women are hesitant to start MHT because of concerns about side effects.”

They added: “Our results may help reduce current concerns about the use of hormone therapy.”

dr. Stephanie Faubion, medical director of the North American Menopause Society, welcomed the findings.

She added: ‘These results are consistent with our current understanding of the risks and benefits of hormone therapy.

‘The benefits generally outweigh the risks for women under 60 years of age who start HRT within 10 years of the onset of menopause.’

It comes days after a study this week also found the drugs don’t increase dementia risk, dismissing another fear.



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