estrogen therapy

How Estrogen Therapy Saves Lives

Scott Brandt, M.D. Estrogen Therapy

A recent article in the American Journal of Public Health has done an excellent job looking at the effects on American women stopping their estrogen therapy following the media scare surrounding the publishing of The Women’s Health Initiative Study (WHI) in 1993. Prior to the study, nearly 600,000 women who underwent hysterectomies were being treated with estrogen therapy. Within 18 months of the publishing of the WHI study nearly half of these women had discontinued the use of hormone treatment.

Lives Saved by Estrogen Therapy

When comparing the women who continued to use estrogen therapy against the placebo group from the WHI study, all-cause mortality was lower in the estrogen-treated group. Further analysis of the data showed an absolute total mortality risk reduction of 13 per 10,000 women per year in estrogen-treated patients. This amounts to somewhere between 18,601 and 91,610 postmenopausal women having died prematurely due to the avoidance of estrogen therapy.

Reduction in Mortality Due to Estrogen Therapy

Estrogen therapy treatment in younger postmenopausal women is associated with a clear reduction in mortality. Unfortunately, the use of estrogen in the population is low and continuing to fall. The major scare in the WHI study was an increase in breast cancer risk that was due to the synthetic progestin used in the study. It had nothing to do with the benefits of estrogen. Despite the enormous benefit of estrogen in reducing mortality, most specifically due to reductions in heart disease, and the availability of safe bioidentical hormones, thousands of women each year are dying prematurely from the unnecessary avoidance of hormone therapy.

*Individual patient results may vary. Contact us today to find out if bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be able to help you.