13 September 2017
Spire Parkway Hospital menopause expert Dr Louise Newson has welcomed a new report saying that women can take hormone replacement therapy without fear that it could cause early death.
Dr Newson, who holds regular Menopause Clinics at the hospital, said the research backs up what she has been saying for years.
“There has been a lot of scaremongering and nonsense talked about the dangers of taking HRT, but hopefully this study will put all that to bed and allow women to take HRT without fear.
“It is a fantastic help to many woman going through the menopause. It can be a very difficult time and the fact that women were discouraged from taking something that usually works to alleviate their symptoms and improve their future health has always rankled with me. I have continued to advise its use and I continued to prescribe HRT throughout the controversy,” she said.
In the 1980s and 90s, millions of women used HRT to eliminate symptoms of the menopause and protect themselves against heart disease and osteoporosis. However, in 2002 data from the US Women’s Health Initiative study which was incorrectly analysed at the time found that some types of HRT may increase the risk breast cancer.
After other studies also found a link to cancer, usage halved and now only about one in ten British women going through the menopause is taking HRT.
The Times newspaper reports that scientists in the USA returned to the Women’s Health Initiative data – which focused on 27,000 women aged 50 to 79 who took HRT for five to seven years. After following them for an average of 18 years, researchers found that death rates were unaffected by the treatment.
The findings – published in the Journal of the American Medical Association - showed there was no significant difference in the risk of dying from cancer, with 8.2 percent on HRT dying this way against 8 percent in a ‘control group’ who were using a placebo. The number of heart disease deaths was also almost identical.
Dr Newson said: “This new research provides reassurance for women who are seeking hormone therapy to manage a series of uncomfortable and sometimes distressing symptoms that can be associated with the menopause.
“I am delighted to see the report receiving publicity in The Times and hope that many other sections of the media will help to get the news out to women throughout the UK.”
Dr Louise Newson, Menopause Expert at Spire Parkway Hospital, Solihull