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Maturitas. 2003 Feb 25;44(2):157-63.

Effects of low-dose, continuous combined estradiol and noretisterone acetate on menopausal quality of life in early postmenopausal women.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56100, Pisa, Italy.



To describe the effects of low dose hormonal replacement therapy (LD-HRT) on quality of life in early postmenopausal women, since the postmenopausal estrogen deprivation in mid age women often brings along a series of changes and symptoms, which may greatly affect quality of life.


Fifty normal postmenopausal women were recruited and randomly treated with LD-HRT, 17beta-estradiol (1 mg/day) and norethisterone acetate (0.5 mg/day) (LD-HRT) or calcium supplement (controls). No significant differences in age, age at menopause, the presence of chronic diseases and socio-economic status were present in the two groups. The Women's Health Questionnaire (WHQ), a validated quality-of-life instrument for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, was administered at baseline and after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment in both groups.


At baseline no significant differences in WHQ scores were present in the two groups. In the control group the scores in all different areas showed no significant modification either after 6 and 12 weeks of observation. Conversely, the LD-HRT group showed a significant decrease in the scores of vasomotor symptoms, somatic symptoms, anxiety/fear, depressed mood and sleep problem items. No effects on memory/concentration and menstrual symptoms areas were evident.


Although quality of life is also and may be mainly influenced by socio-economic and cultural factors, LD-HRT definitively can improve not only vasomotor symptoms, but also more general aspects of physical and psychological well-being of symptomatic postmenopausal women.

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