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Will they ever figure it out?

PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:36 pm
by minniepauz
By Elizabeth Cohen

Empowered Patient, a regular feature from CNN Medical News correspondent Elizabeth Cohen, helps put you in the driver's seat when it comes to health care.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Dr. Bernadine Healy can't even count the number of women who've complained to her about how tough it is to make the decision about hormone replacement therapy.

A 2002 study found HRT made women more vulnerable to health problems including heart attacks and strokes.

"Women say, 'Oh it used to be so simple. Now it's so complex,'" says Healy, a cardiologist and former director of the National Institutes of Health. "And I tell them, 'Yes, it used to be so simple because it was wrong.'"

This is what she means: Before 2002, it was practically standard operating procedure to put women on synthetic hormones as soon as they reached menopause. ("We were putting them in the drinking water," jokes Healy.).

But that turned out to be not such a great idea. A study in 2002 found that hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, made women more vulnerable to heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer and blood clots. In droves, doctors yanked their patients off the hormones.

Six years later, Healy and others are pleading for a middle ground -- a world where doctors don't paint women with a broad brush, but instead consider the medical needs of each individual woman.
For complete article go here: ... e.therapy/