Women Who Have Stopped Estrogen Plus Progestin Therapy May Be At Increased Risk of Cancer
A follow-up study of women who stopped taking the hormone therapy of estrogen plus progestin after this intervention was discontinued as part of a clinical trial indicates that these women may have an increased risk of cancer, compared to women in the placebo group, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Cardiovascular disease and fracture risks were similar between the two groups, but women who took hormone therapy had an overall higher global risk index reflecting the balance of risks and benefits from a number of endpoints combined, including deaths.
The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial of estrogen plus progestin, which included 16,608 postmenopausal women, assessed whether conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) prevents heart disease and hip fractures and increases the risk of breast cancer. The trial was stopped in 2002 when data indicated an increased risk of breast cancer and a failure to demonstrate an overall health benefit of the therapy. Further analysis showed that women in the CEE plus MPA group had higher risks of cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and venous thromboembolism and lower risks of fracture and colorectal cancer.