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Should Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy Be Used to Prevent Osteoporosis?

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Objective: To discuss the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Data Sources: A MEDLINE search was conducted to identify articles that are pertinent to the risks and benefits of hormone therapy for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Additional references were obtained from the bibliographies of these articles.

Study Selection: Human studies that present efficacy and safety data for the effects of postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Data Extraction: Analysis of studies to determine the benefits of hormone therapy on bone (in terms of bone mineral density or fracture risk) and risks of hormone therapy in postmenopausal women.

Data Synthesis: Studies were analyzed to determine the risk-benefit profile of hormone therapy for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis. This information was synthesized to help practitioners make decisions regarding the role of postmenopausal hormone therapy in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Conclusion: Given the risks of hormone therapy, some of which are associated with increased duration of use, hormone therapy cannot be routinely recommended for the sole purpose of preventing osteoporosis. Many alternative therapies exist that may offer patients a better benefit versus risk ratio.
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Keywords: Hormone replacement therapy; osteoporosis; postmenopausal

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-08-01

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  • The Consultant Pharmacist® is the official peer-reviewed journal of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. It is dedicated exclusively to the medication needs of the elderly in all settings, including adult day care, ambulatory care, assisted living, community, hospice, and nursing facilities. This award-winning journal is a member benefit of ASCP. Individuals who are not members and wish to receive The Consultant Pharmacist® will want to consider joining ASCP.
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