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Keywords:

  • menopause;
  • hormone therapy;
  • risk versus benefit.

Abstract

The use of postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) has recently generated much debate following the results of various large randomised controlled trials. This has challenged physicians to reassess the use of HT in each individual woman within the realm of her symptomatology and risk profile for long-term illnesses. There are several areas of definite benefit or risk and many areas of uncertainty. The results of recent randomised controlled trials pertain to the specific HT regimens used and the characteristics of the study groups, such that the conclusions cannot be extrapolated to the use of HT in general. (Intern Med J 2004; 34: 109−114)