Major news magazines, TV documentaries, radio talk show hosts and other media have paid a great deal of attention to the findings from two studies on hormone replacement therapy. A long-term study of more than 16,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79 revealed that HRT did pose some major health risks.
When you look at the numbers, the risks seem small. Let’s look at the math. Suppose you live in a town in which 10,000 women are taking an estrogen-progestin combination. Of those 10,000 women, chances are that eventually 30 of them will develop breast cancer, as that rate (0.3%) is the figure for women in general. What recent HRT research shows, however, is that it’s more likely that 37 women in your town will get breast cancer because of the HRT. That’s an extra 7 women. Now just an additional 7 women out of a population of 10,000 women doesn’t seem like many—that is, unless you’re one of those women!
The research also revealed that you’d expect about 18 in a normal population of 10,000 women to develop blood clots. Among women using HRT, though, that number increases to 36. The number doubles. In statistical terms, that’s a 100% increase in the likelihood of getting blood clots. Those health risks were too high to allow the study to continue. Continue reading “New Research and Findings on Risks & Benefits of HRT”