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Will Hormone Replacement Therapy Keep My Heart Healthy?

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Heart Health: Recommendations

While questions remain, the findings make possible some advice about using hormone replacement therapy:
 
  • Estrogen -- alone or with progestin -- should not be used to prevent heart disease. Talk with your doctor about other ways of preventing heart attacks or a stroke, including heart disease prevention strategies such as lifestyle changes and medicines.
     
  • If you are considering using hormone replacement therapy to prevent osteoporosis, talk with your doctor about the possible benefits weighed against your personal risks for heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer. Ask your doctor about alternative treatments that are safe and effective in preventing osteoporosis and bone fractures.
     
  • Do not take hormone replacement therapy to prevent dementia or memory loss.
     
  • If you are considering hormone replacement therapy to provide relief from menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, talk with your doctor about whether this treatment is right for you. The current U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation for menopausal hormone replacement therapy is that it should be used at the lowest dose for the shortest period of time to reach treatment goals.
     

Hormone Replacement Therapy and Heart Health: Summary

While hormone replacement therapy was once thought to have heart health benefits, clinical trials have clearly shown that this is not the case. Hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and should not be used to prevent heart disease.
 
If you are considering hormone replacement therapy as a treatment for menopausal symptoms, talk to your doctor about how it might affect your heart health.
 
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