Related Topics: Breast Cancer, HRT, Opinion, Research

HRT Doubles Risk of Death

The recent new research reported on our site recently is analysed by leading nutritionist Patrick Holford.

Patrick Holford

As the dangers of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) have emerged over recent years, the number of women seeking these drugs to help them through the menopause has dramatically decreased. Now a new American study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association is likely to make HRT even more unpopular.

After assessing some 16,608 post-menopausal women over the past 11 years, researchers from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center found that those who’d taken HRT were not only more likely to develop breast cancer – but to die as a result, compared to women who’d not had hormone therapy. More than twice as many women died in the HRT group, with researchers believing that HRT somehow interferes with breast cancer detection, so leading to diagnoses at more advanced and therefore harder-to-treat stages.

All the women studied had taken part in a US government-funded clinical trial called the Women’s Health Initiative, which was stopped in 2002 after it emerged that those taking a combination of oestrogen and progestin hormones faced a higher risk of breast cancer. However, an association between HRT and increased risk not only of cancer but also strokes had been identified some years earlier, and I was writing about the dangers of HRT more than ten years ago.

Doctors finally seem to be getting the message. In an editorial which accompanied this latest study, Peter Bach of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York said: “Clinicians who prescribe brief courses of hormone therapy for relief of menopausal symptoms should be aware that this approach has not been proven in rigorous clinical trials and that the downstream negative consequences for their patients are of uncertain magnitude.”

Yet, for many women, the menopause can cause all manner of unpleasant symptoms. So if HRT is out, what are the other options? Bio-identical hormones may provide an answer, as these natural alternatives to HRT appear to have many of the benefits without the dangerous side effects. For more information, read my Special Report called Bio-identical Hormones – Another Way to Handle the Menopause. This report is only available in full to 100% Health members, so if you want to find out how to join to access this – and hundreds of other Special Reports – for free visit

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