Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is like a horror movie villain who won’t die. Year after year, that’s how it’s been with pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy. In 2002, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study linked HRT to a sharply increased risk of breast cancer.
Since then, the risks have piled up. Research has linked heart attack, stroke, dementia, and ovarian cancer to HRT use.
Now, 10 years later, HRT pops up at the door. Again! This time it’s a new study. They’re trying a new angle. But, women, beware – it’s the same old dangers. Same old junk.
Trying to squeeze one by
The new study has a name… Kronos Early Oestrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS). But the name makes no sense. Kronos prevents early oestrogen? What?
They should have called it Kronos Early Menopause Symptom Prevention Study, but then the acronym would be KEMSPS. And that’s not as cute as “KEEPS.”
That’s the first tip-off that something isn’t quite right here.
The Kronos Longevity Research Institute designed a four-year study to examine the effects of HRT on women in early menopause. Most of the women in the earlier WHI study were about 10 years older than these women.
So… New study. Younger women. Different results.
First: Menopause symptoms such as hot flushes were relieved.
Second: There was no increased risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, or blood clots. But that news comes with a qualification. This group of subjects may not have been large enough to detect an increase in dangers. After all, the WHI study included more than 20 times more women. It also went on for over five years before they detected the deadly risks of HRT.
And finally, they tell us that the drugs improved cardiovascular risk markers.
Oh really? Let’s take a look.
There was a slight increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. There was a slight decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol. Slight? That’s virtually meaningless when it comes to risk.
But here’s what IS meaningful. Triglycerides went up. C reactive protein went up. Those are serious red flags. They both mean that inflammation is an issue. And that’s a far more serious marker than any “slight” cholesterol changes.
So they gave the results a feel-good spin to play up the good, while hoping nobody would notice the bad.
I hope women and their doctors DO notice what’s really going on here. It’s simply a new sales pitch for an old drug. The dangers are real. And that has already been proven.
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“Screening for Prostate Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement” Annals of Internal Medicine, Published online ahead of print 5/21/12, annals.org
“Task force discourages use of prostate cancer screening test” Angela Townsend, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/21/12, cleveland.com
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