Better Studies Needed
Virtually millions of women must decide how best to approach the symptoms of menopause and life after menopause every year. There were 473 million women 50 or over in the world in 1990. But relatively little research has been conducted concerning the long-term health consequences of estrogen or estrogen and progesterone therapy in women or about other ways to address menopausal symptoms. There has never been a large-scale, long term study of estrogen and progesterone supplements which included scientifically selected individuals for control group and treatment groups. This means that the results of much current research is suspect.
The United States government is currently conducting a study with nine years of follow-up which will examine the effect of hormone replacement therapy on the prevention of heart disease and osteoporosis. The study is expected to enroll 63,000 women ages 50-79, and will include scientifically selected control and treatment groups.
Other research must also be conducted concerning alternative therapy for menopause and a variety of issues linked to health risk and the duration of hormone therapy use. In 1994, the World Health Organization scientific group announced a series of recommendations for research concerning physical and psychological aspects of menopause. Such research studies are ongoing.
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