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Longer-term follow-up of users of estrogen therapy finds some changes in risks
Date:4/5/2011

Among postmenopausal women with prior hysterectomy who had used estrogen therapy for about 6 years and then stopped, longer-term follow-up indicates that the increased risk of stroke seen during the intervention period had dissipated, the decreased risk of hip fracture was not maintained, while the decreased risk of breast cancer persisted, according to a study in the April 6 issue of JAMA.

"The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen-Alone Trial was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial evaluating the effects of conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) on chronic disease incidence among postmenopausal women with prior hysterectomy," the authors write. The trial intervention was stopped 1 year early after an average of 7.1 years of follow-up because of an increased risk of stroke and little likelihood of altering the balance of risk to benefit by the planned termination date. All previous reports of this trial were limited to health outcomes occurring during the intervention phase, according to background information in the article.

Andrea Z. LaCroix, Ph.D., of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, and colleagues analyzed data on health outcomes after the CEE intervention through an average of 10.7 years of follow-up, through August 2009. The intervention phase was a clinical trial of 0.625 mg/d of CEE compared with placebo in 10,739 U.S. postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79 years with prior hysterectomy. Follow-up continued after the planned trial completion date among 7,645 surviving participants (78 percent) who provided written consent.

The researchers found that the risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) during the postintervention follow-up period was similar to that observed during the intervention. The increased stroke risk seen during the intervention phase was not present during the postintervention phase (0.36 percent [n = 66]) in the CEE group vs. 0.41 percent [n = 77] in the placebo
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Contact: Kristen Woodward
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org
206-667-5095
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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