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NIH holds conference to assess evidence on management of menopauserelated symptoms

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a State-of-the-Science Conference on Management of Menopause-Related Symptoms, March 21-23, 2005, at the Natcher Conference Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference will bring together researchers and practitioners in various aspects of menopausal care and research to examine and synthesize the available scientific evidence on treatment of menopausal symptoms. A press briefing will be held at the close of the conference, at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23.

Many women and their doctors are concerned about the use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) for their menopausal symptoms and interested in learning about alternatives. For many decades, using estrogen (or, in a woman with a uterus, using a combination of estrogen and a progestin) has been the therapy of choice for relieving menopause-related symptoms. But recently, some large clinical trials have found a greater chance of serious health problems such as blood clots, stroke, heart disease, or breast cancer and benefits like fewer hip fractures or less risk of colon cancer in certain groups of women using MHT. It is not clear how these findings apply to women with symptoms because these clinical trials were not designed to study such women, but rather to test whether MHT could prevent chronic diseases or conditions of aging, such as heart disease or cognitive decline.

Research has identified a number of hormonal and non-hormonal approaches that show promise for managing menopause-related symptoms. A careful examination of these strategies for symptom management is urgently needed to provide women and their health care providers with options that will best control their symptoms and restore their quality of life.

The conference presentations and discussions will focus on the following five key questions:

  • What is the evidence that the symptoms more frequently reported by middle-aged women are attributable t
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  • Contact: Kelli Marciel
    marcielk@od.nih.gov
    301-496-4819
    NIH/Office of the Director
    16-Mar-2005


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