lower hormone doses as effective
doses of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are as effective at
reducing symptoms in postmenopausal women as currently prescribed
doses, according to a study in the June issue of Fertility and
womens Health, Osteoporosis, Progestin, and Estrogen (HOPE)
study, in which the U.Va. Health
System participated, found that lower doses of conjugated
equine estrogens and medroxyprogesterone, which protects the uterus
against cancer, reduce symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes
and vaginal changes, as effectively as commonly prescribed higher
is exciting, said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, director of U.Va.s
MidLife Center and coauthor of the study. Women entering menopause
may opt for lower doses of HRT, easing fears about the link between
estrogen and breast cancer, she said.
HOPE clinical trials, funded by Wyeth Laboratories, involved more
than 2,000 healthy, postmenopausal women with intact uteruses.
one year, researchers found that breast pain is the most common
side effect of lower doses. However, less bleeding occurred. Heavy
bleeding has been a major reason why women discontinue HRT, said
Pinkerton, who expects the Food and Drug Administration to approve
a low-dose HRT by the end of the summer.