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HRT Advice For Women – No Long Term Use


MEDIA RELEASE

27 SEPTEMBER 2002

Experts Agree On HRT Advice For Women – No Long Term Use

The New Zealand Guidelines Group will be releasing new updated advice on the use of hormone replacement therapy at the College of General Practitioner’s Conference in Rotorua on Saturday 28 September 2002.

“Long term use of combined HRT is not recommended except in limited circumstances”, said Dr Helen Roberts, Chair of the HRT guideline development team. “Recent studies show that the risks of breast cancer, venous thromboemboliism, stroke and coronary heart disease outweigh the benefits” she said. “It is clear that HRT should not be used for treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease, and is no longer recommended as first line treatment for prevention of osteoporosis and fractures,” she said.

These recommendations are based on the new evidence from three studies released in July this year.

Dr Roberts said “All women who are currently using HRT should discuss the risks associated with HRT when they next visit their doctor. When a woman decides to stop taking HRT, her doctor should also provide advice about the best way to gradually withdraw from HRT so ‘rebound flushes’ can be avoided.”


Dr Helen Roberts, a Senior Lecturer of Women’s Health, University of Auckland and Research Manager of New Zealand Family Planning Association, said, “We had health professionals with an interest in specific conditions associated with the menopause, general practitioners, evidence-based researchers, an epidemiologist, information specialist and consumer representative review each of these studies in detail and analyse the implications for NZ women. It has been great to have such a broad based multidisciplinary group of people review these new studies and agree on these key recommendations. We hope they will be used to provide realistic, practical advice for women who have been using HRT and now want to review their options.”

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Further details of the recommendations will be posted on the New Zealand Guidelines Group website in the next week or so. Detailed advice will be sent to GPS in a prescribers update from the Ministry of Health. This new advice will also be incorporated into a consumer resource being written by Sandra Coney, a member of the guideline development team, for the New Zealand Guidelines Group, and will be published in November.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Conference is being held at the Rotorua Convention Centre on 26 – 28 September 2002. The guideline update is being presented at 3.00pm on Saturday 28 September by Helen Roberts.

The New Zealand Guidelines Group (NZGG) is an independent, not-for-profit, non-government organisation, set up to promote evidence-based effective health and disability services.

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