Menopausal Hormone Replacement Should Not Be Used For Disease Prevention Interview with:

Dr-Suzanne Fenske.jpg

Dr. Fenske

Dr. Suzanne Fenske, MD
Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: USPSTF recommendations are based off several studies, but is mainly based off of the Women’s Health Initiative.

The Women’s Health Initiative was a 15 year prevention study with a focus on death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. This study was originally performed in 1991.

The USPSTF reevaluated the data along with several other studies to assess the role of hormone replacement therapy in prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, blood clot, gallbladder disease, dementia.  The USPSTF has found that hormone replacement therapy has some benefit in reducing the risk of fractures, and, potentially, diabetes.  The USPSTF has found that hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, blood clot, gall bladder disease, urinary incontinence and dementia.

With these risks, the USPSTF states that hormone replacement therapy should not be used as a preventative medicine, but, rather, used for treatment of symptomatic menopause and not prevention of osteoporosis or heart disease. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The report states that there are risks and benefits associated with hormone replacement therapy and due to the benefits, it should remain an option for management of symptoms of menopause that are uncontrolled in the appropriate patient.

The report also states that due to the risks, hormone replacement therapy should be utilized as treatment for symptomatic menopause and not for prevention of diseases. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Hormone Therapy for the Primary Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Postmenopausal Women US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2017;318(22):2224–2233. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.18261

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.


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Last Updated on December 13, 2017 by Marie Benz MD FAAD