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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2006 Apr;46(2):84-91.

Hormone therapy in the WHI era.

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  • 1Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research and Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health, Clayton, Victoria, Australia.


The announcement in July 2002 in the media of the results of the combined continuous hormone treatment arm of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) had a profound effect on perceptions about hormone therapy among the lay public and the medical profession. Careful scrutiny of the announcement and the subsequent publications leads to the conclusion that the widespread fear of hormone therapy that was generated was not supported by the facts. WHI was not designed to be, nor can it be, interpreted as a randomised controlled trial of menopausal hormone therapy--rather, it was a trial of chronic disease prevention, particularly aimed at the possible cardiovascular benefits of a specific combination hormone therapy in postmenopausal women. The results, which were consistent with existing data, did not and do not warrant any major change in the previously established guidelines for the use of hormone therapy. Tibolone has emerged as an alternative treatment for menopausal symptoms, but its long-term benefits and risks have yet to be documented.

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