Objective: This position statement aimed to update the evidence-based position statement published by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in 2010 regarding recommendations for hormone therapy (HT) for postmenopausal women. This updated position statement further distinguishes the emerging differences in the therapeutic benefit-risk ratio between estrogen therapy (ET) and combined estrogen-progestogen therapy (EPT) at various ages and time intervals since menopause onset.
Methods: An Advisory Panel of expert clinicians and researchers in the field of women’s health was enlisted to review the 2010 NAMS position statement, evaluate new evidence, and reach consensus on recommendations. The Panel’s recommendations were reviewed and approved by the NAMS Board of Trustees as an official NAMS position statement.
Results: Current evidence supports the use of HT for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women when the balance of potential benefits and risks is favorable for the individual woman. This position statement reviews the effects of ET and EPT on many aspects of women’s health and recognizes the greater safety profile associated with ET.
Conclusions: Recent data support the initiation of HT around the time of menopause to treat menopause-related symptoms and to prevent osteoporosis in women at high risk of fracture. The more favorable benefit-risk ratio for ET allows more flexibility in extending the duration of use compared with EPT, where the earlier appearance of increased breast cancer risk precludes a recommendation for use beyond 3 to 5 years.
The updated, evidence-based hormone therapy position statement of The North American Menopause Society further distinguishes the emerging differences in the therapeutic benefit-risk ratio between estrogen therapy and combined estrogen-progestogen therapy at various ages and time intervals since menopause onset.
Received January 17, 2012; revised and accepted January 17, 2012.
This position statement was developed by The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) 2012 Hormone Therapy Position Statement Advisory Panel consisting of representatives of the NAMS Board of Trustees and other experts in women’s health: Margery L.S. Gass, MD, NCMP (Co-Chair); JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, NCMP (Co-Chair); Felicia Cosman, MD; Francine Grodstein, ScD; V. Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, DSc, FMedSci; Richard H. Karas, MD, PhD; Andrew M. Kaunitz, MD; Pauline M. Maki, PhD; Peter J. Schmidt, MD; Jan L. Shifren, MD, NCMP; Cynthia A. Stuenkel, MD, NCMP; and Wulf H. Utian, MD, PhD, DSc(Med), NCMP. The Board of Trustees approved the position statement on January 15, 2012.
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