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Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2004 Dec;33(4):741-59.

Bone health and aging: implications for menopause.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Osteoporosis is one major health condition that contributes to excess morbidity and mortality in women after menopause. In the past, hormone therapy (HT) was prescribed commonly for symptoms of menopause, and there was also evidence that HT protected against osteoporosis. Recently, however, the overall health risks have been reported to exceed benefits, with the beneficial effects seen only in the decreased incidence of hip fractures and colon cancer. The role of HT in menopausal women is unclear at this time, although many women may require it to reduce menopausal symptoms. Osteoporosis may be an area where the benefit of using HT may outweigh the risks in a select group of women. Further, because lower than usual doses of estrogen have been shown to reduce menopausal symptoms and to protect bone, additional research will likely expand physicians' current knowledge of the use of HT in menopausal women. This article reviews the use of low-dose estrogen to promote bone health in postmenopausal women.

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