(National) Aug. 6, 2003 - The case against hormone replacement therapy (HRT) grows stronger. Two studies in the New Journal of Medicine say HRT could harm older women and does little to help.
Women taking estrogen and progestin in the first year of taking HRT increase their chance of a heart attack by 81 percent, according to researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
The arteries of woman taking HRT clogged just as fast as those of women taking a placebo drug, so say researchers at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Gynecologist Tracey Gaudet says for years the medical community believed replacing estrogen lost after menopause would lower cholesterol, "I think it's clear, that type of hormone replacement doesn't protect against cardiovascular disease and in fact may increase your risk and that's good to know."
The only remaining reason for prescribing HRT, researchers say, is to relieve the symptoms of menopause.