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Kaohsiung J Med Sci. 2003 Jun;19(6):257-70.

Hormone replacement therapy and menopause: a review of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

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Institute of Health Policy and Management, College of Public Health, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan.


Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is frequently prescribed to healthy women to ameliorate menopausal symptoms. HRT is used long term (> or = 1 year) to prevent chronic disease in older women. The objective of this study was to review the benefits and risks of HRT and studies of menopause or HRT in Taiwan via a MEDLINE search. Recommendations are provided for future HRT research in Taiwan. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials are considered the gold standard of scientific evidence. A MEDLINE literature search (January 1966-July 2002) identified 23 papers on trials (> or = 1 year) that met the inclusion criteria. The results showed that various HRT regimens used for more than 1 year caused more harm than good in healthy menopausal women and that there was no benefit for women with coronary artery disease, Alzheimer's disease, hysterectomy, hysterosalpingo-oophorectomy, and ischemic stroke. None of this research was conducted in Taiwan. A MEDLINE search using the key words "estrogen replacement therapy and menopause in Taiwan" identified 16 studies. There was only one, short-term, HRT trial. No evidence suggested benefits from long-term HRT in menopausal women in Taiwan.

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