"There is a lot to consider when interpreting the WHI results. The fact is that millions of women still suffer from the potentially devastating symptoms of menopause so much so that their quality of life deteriorates. Hormone therapy remains the most effective means to relieve vasomotor symptoms, and certain estrogen formulations and routes of administration that were not studied in WHI offer different health effects that may offer several advantages," said Dr. Minkin, clinical professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Yale.
Unexpected results from the WHI published in June 2002 called into question the safety of all HTs even though investigators only examined oral HTs that used conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) and medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA). The researchers cautioned that the WHI results did not necessarily apply to other doses of CEE/MPA, to other types of oral estrogens and progestins, or to other estrogens and progestins delivered by different routes.
"Reproductive healthcare professionals may find it difficult to counsel their patients who suffer from severe menopausal symptoms about appropriate treatment because not all estrogens and progestins are alike. Alternative drugs, doses and delivery systems may exhibit better safety profiles than CEE/MPA formulations, with no loss of efficacy," Dr. Minkin noted.
Transdermal, unlike oral, HT delivery bypasses the liver, permitting the use of estrogen doses that are substant
Contact: Lissa Burt