Research: Menopausal Hormone Therapy Not Associated with Risk of Death

For women who experience menopause symptoms, hormone replacement therapy is an option that can help bring relief. According to a new study, using hormone replacement therapy is not associated with an increased risk of death. Holly Thacker, M.D., comments.

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CLEVELAND – For women who experience menopause symptoms, hormone replacement therapy is an option that can help bring relief.

According to a new study, using hormone replacement therapy is not associated with an increased risk of death.

Holly Thacker, M.D., a women’s health physician at Cleveland Clinic, said this is reassuring news for women who are looking for treatment options for their menopause symptoms.

“Women should be ecstatic that they have options,” said Dr. Thacker. “They don’t necessarily have to take hormones if they’re not hormonally deficient, but if they are, they can take them safely and effectively.” 

According to Dr. Thacker, previous research, published in 2002, cast doubt on the safety of the use of hormone replacement therapy, and as a result, the use of hormone replacement therapy decreased.

In contrast, the new study, which looked at data from 27,347 women found that after 18 years, the women who took either estrogen or a combined estrogen-progestin therapy, showed no increase in their risk of death from all causes, including cancer and heart disease.

Dr. Thacker said the latest research shows that study results are not one-size-fits-all and that they are really just one piece of a bigger puzzle.

She added that while it’s good for women to research health information, it’s essential that they have the right information.

Dr. Thacker said these new results really highlight the importance of women talking to their doctor to get an individualized evaluation and therapy, if necessary.

“All women should be assessed at menopause for symptoms; bone health, sexual health and their overall medical condition, and then be individualized and we have both hormonal and non-hormonal options for women,” said Dr. Thacker.

Complete results of the study can be found in JAMA.

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