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Flashcards in Menopause Deck (3)
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What are the effects of hormone replacement therapy in older women? 

  • The Women's Health Initiative study in 2002 demonstrated increased risk of stroke, thromboembolism, heart disease and breast cancer in women exposed to combined HRT. 
  • Combined HRT increases breast cancer risk when taken for 5 years or more.
  • Oestrogen-only HRT is thought to not increase risk of breast cancer. Risk of cardiac events is highest in the first year. 
  • Timing of initiation seems to be important. Starting around the time of menopause mitigates the risks of thromboembolism and heart disease. 
  • In general, HRT should not be commenced in older women who are long past menopause. 
  • Transdermal may be somewhat safer than oral. 


Define menopause.

  • Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods (amenorrhoea) for six months in a woman over 40 years of age. 
  • Average age of onset is 51 years old.