-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Hormone therapy helps
with menopause-related symptoms such as sleep and memory problems
only if a woman also has hot flashes, according to new
The study included 150 Finnish women who had recently gone
through menopause. Of those, 72 had seven or more
moderate-to-severe hot flashes a day, while 78 had three or fewer
mild hot flashes daily or no hot flashes.
In each group, half of the women were treated for six months
with hormone therapy of various kinds, while the other half were
given an inactive placebo with no hormones, according to the study
published online Nov. 13 in the journal
Among women with moderate-to-severe hot flashes, hormone therapy
helped with menopause-related symptoms such as insomnia, memory and
concentration problems, anxiety and fear, exhaustion, irritability,
swelling, joint and muscle pain, hot flashes, vaginal dryness and
general health, the investigators found.
However, hormone therapy provided no such benefits for women
with mild or no hot flashes, the findings showed.
"There has been a long debate over this issue. This new, well-designed study puts forth good evidence that hormone therapy does not improve quality of life in recently menopausal women who do not have numerous hot flashes," Dr. Margery Gass, executive director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a society news release.
Hot flashes are episodes of intense, spreading heat experienced
by some women after their monthly periods stop. Changing hormone
levels are believed to cause hot flashes and other menopausal
The researchers noted that the women in the study were white,
healthy and lean, so the results may not apply to women in other
racial/ethnic groups or those with other health conditions.
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about
hormones and menopause.
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