Hormone Therapy May Still Have Role in Osteoporosis Treatment
Doctors' opinions about whether to treat women with osteoporosis with hormone therapy vary. Guidelines by medical societies including those of the American College of Physicians, on the other hand, generally do not recommend it as a first line therapy for the disease, at least in part due to the risks associated with taking it. This type of hormone therapy (HT) can be given as estrogen or a combination of hormones including estrogen. The physicians interviewed for this piece who prescribe HT for osteoporosis suggest the benefits outweigh the downsides to its use for some of their patients.
@gul The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) hormone therapy trials showed that HT reduces the incidence of all osteoporosis-related fractures in postmenopausal women, even those at low risk of fracture, but osteoporosis-related fractures was not a study endpoint. These trials also revealed that HT was associated with increased risks of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events, an increased risk of breast cancer, and other adverse health outcomes. The release of the interim results of the WHI trials in 2002 led to a fair amount of fear and confusion about the use of HT after menopause. After the WHI findings were published, estrogen use dropped dramatically, but for everything, including for vasomotor symptoms and the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.