American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists responds to latest report on hormone therapy

January 1, 2011

In response to the latest analysis of the Women's Health Initiative randomized study of postmenopausal women taking hormone therapy, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists adivsed ob/gyns to continue to counsel women who are considering hormone therapy for relief of menopausal symptoms to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time.

In response to the latest analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized study of postmenopausal women taking hormone therapy, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advised ob/gyns to continue to counsel women who are considering hormone therapy for relief of menopausal symptoms to use the lowest effective dose for the shortest period of time.1

The most recent study, by Chlebowski and colleagues, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that women taking combined estrogen plus progestin are at increased risk of invasive breast cancer, breast cancers presenting with positive lymph nodes, and breast cancer mortality.2 ACOG noted that while the absolute risk of breast cancer mortality is small, it is significantly increased in women taking combined estrogen plus daily progestin. It also observed that a 2004 WHI report in JAMA on the estrogen-alone component of hormone therapy found no increase in breast cancer risk among women with hysterectomy over an average of 7 years of randomized treatment.

1American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The College responds to new report from the Women's Health Initiative regarding estrogen plus progestin hormone therapy and breast cancer. http://www.acog.org/from_home/misc/20101021WHIResponse.cfm/. Accessed December 3, 2010.