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Review: long term use of hormone therapy by postmenopausal women does not prevent chronic diseases

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 Q In perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, does long term use of hormone therapy (HT) affect the risk of death, vascular disease, cancer, dementia, and other chronic diseases?

Clinical impact ratings GP/FP/Primary care ★★★★★★☆ Endocrine ★★★★★★☆ Geriatrics ★★★★★★☆ Gynaecology ★★★★★★★


Embedded ImageData sources:

Medline, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Biological Abstracts, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane Menstrual Disorders and Subfertility Group Trials Register (to November 2004); UK National Research Register and registers from the UK National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (to January 2004); reference lists of relevant articles; and pharmaceutical companies.

Embedded ImageStudy selection and assessment:

randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluated the effect of long term HT use (⩾1 y) on death or serious chronic diseases in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women. HT consisted of oestrogen, alone or combined with progestogen, administered by oral, transdermal, subcutaneous, or intranasal routes.

Embedded ImageOutcomes:

mortality, heart disease, …

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  • For correspondence: Dr C M Farquhar, University of Auckland, New Zealand. C.farquhar{at}

  • Source of funding: no external funding.