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Hormone Replacement Therapy Risks Explored

Posted in Personal Health 11 Mar, 2015

The latest study released by the Cochrane Library, which looks into the effects of HRT, claimed that HRT does not in actual fact protect against heart diseases and may in actually increase the risk of suffering from a stroke, with Dr David Tovey, editor in chief of the Cochrane Library, stating that: "This review adds a few more pieces to a complicated jigsaw of evidence relating to the use of HRT to treat symptoms of the menopause.

"This apparent benefit in preventing heart disease in younger women should be considered alongside other possible benefits and emerging evidence of harms, including the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and DVT."

So is HRT safe to use?

Whilst there may be a level of risk associated with HRT, the same applies to many other treatments and it's important that you take into consideration whether the benefits outweigh the potential side effects before deciding on whether to take this course of treatment or not.

Dr Henry Boardman, from Oxford University has stated: "When we looked at the results according to the age of women, or by how long since their menopause that they started treatment, we found that if 1,000 women under 60 years old started hormone therapy we would expect six fewer deaths, eight fewer cases of heart disease and five extra blood clots over about seven years, compared to a 1,000 similar women who did not start hormone therapy;' going on to add that: "The evidence adds to a large bank of evidence that helps GPs advise their patients, but you need to weigh up the severity of the symptoms and all the benefits and harms."

"The findings of this Cochrane review need to be carefully considered. This is a complicated health issue, where the same treatment offers benefits in some women, but harms in others."

Moreover, whilst there may be a number of potential risks associated using HRT, there are still over 1 million woman in the UK using some form of HRT, be it in the form of a patch, pill or gel, suggesting that the pros may outweigh the cons.

For more information on HRT, click here.

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