The growth in information about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) over the past few years has been impressive. This review summarizes the latest information on HRT and cardiovascular disease, osteoporotic fractures, and cognitive function. The risks of HRT (e.g., stroke, breast cancer, and venous thromboembolism) clearly outweigh the benefits (e.g., reduction in osteoporotic fractures). The use of HRT for primary or secondary prevention of coronary heart disease or to decrease the risk of cognitive dysfunction is also not supported. While the evidence in older adults is substantial, there is some controversy regarding the effectiveness of HRT initiated in women at the start of menopause.
Key words: hormone replacement therapy, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cognitive function, dementia.
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