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May 2022

Hormone replacement therapy in the aged: A state of the art review

Author(s): Hillard, T. C.

Journal/Book: Drug Aging. 1996; 8: 41 Centorian Dr, Private Bag 65901,, Mairangi Bay, Auckland 10, New Zealand. Adis International Ltd. 193-213.

Abstract: The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the immediate postmenopause for the relief of menopausal symptoms and for the prevention of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease is well established. The continuation of treatment beyond the age of 60 years is likely to maximise these long term benefits and there is now increasing evidence to suggest that commencing treatment de novo in women of this age is likely to be beneficial. Many women remain symptomatic well into their sixties and the introduction of HRT at this stage will not only relieve these symptoms but will also conserve bone density and reduce future osteoporotic fracture risk. Furthermore, HRT appears to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, even in those women with pre-existing heart disease. The possible association between HRT and breast cancer remains controversial. Overall, there seems to be a slight increase in risk with long term HRT usage (longer than 10 years) but certain subgroups of women may be more at risk. This review discusses the merits and potential problems of prescribing HRT to the elderly and gives some guidance on the type, dose and route of administration of estrogen and progestogen to be used. Poor compliance with HRT is a major problem and the more widespread use of pretreatment counselling together with a wider range of products should have a positive impact in this area. The final decision about whether to continue or commence HRT in the elderly should be an informed one made by the woman and her clinician together.

Note: Review TC Hillard, Poole Hosp NHS Trust, Dept Obstet & Gynaecol, Poole BH15 2JB, Dorset, England

Keyword(s): POSTMENOPAUSAL ESTROGEN THERAPY; BREAST-CANCER RISK; POST-MENOPAUSAL OSTEOPOROSIS; ACUTE MYOCARDIAL-INFARCTION; CONJUGATED EQUINE ESTROGEN; CORONARY HEART-DISEASE; DOUBLE-BLIND TRIAL; BONE LOSS; TRANSDERMAL ESTRADIOL; HIP FRACTURE


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