An international study of the effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT) use on quality of life has shown that HRT use can significantly improve wellbeing in women with menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and night sweats.
This study looked at health-related quality of life in 5692 health women aged 50-69 in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
The International Menopause Society notes that the study found that about 3 out of 4 women who complained of night sweats and hot flushes, found that these symptoms had vanished after a year of HRT use. Even in women who were well past menopause and did not suffer hot flushes, there was a noted improvement in sleep, sexuality and joint pain as a result of HRT use.
Speaking for the International Menopause Society, Professor Amos Pines (Tel Aviv, Israel) said, “This study shows just how effective hormone therapy can be, in alleviating hot flushes and sleep disturbances and in generally improving other components of quality of life and wellbeing.
"Taking everything into account, latest data shows that hormone therapy in healthy women during the early postmenopausal period is really pretty safe. Nowadays most specialists working with the menopause consider that the many women who are experiencing a poor quality of life because of the menopause need to be able to decide themselves, in consultation with their doctor, about taking HRT. This study shows the benefits of HRT use, and adds even more weight to this conclusion.”
Dr David Sturdee (Solihull, UK), President of the International Menopause Society said, “This is a significant study, which supports our views on HRT. It shows that HRT can offer real benefits to most women experiencing menopausal symptoms. Our advice remains the same; each woman is an individual, and she needs to discuss what’s right for her with her doctor, in the light of her medical history. This study reinforces the benefits of appropriate use.”
The International Menopause Society (IMS) is the major international body working with menopause-related medicine. The IMS’s view is that HRT use can benefit women experiencing symptoms associated with the menopause, for example hot flushes, night sweats, aching joints and muscles, insomnia, and vaginal dryness and that HRT use is generally safe for healthy women going through the menopause. Health risks of HRT use rise slightly after the age of around 59. However, each woman needs to discuss her own medical circumstances with her doctor before deciding on HRT use.
Article: Amanda J Welton et al,'Health related quality of life after combined hormone replacement therapy: randomised controlled trial', British Medical Journal, 22 August 2008