Estrogen Study Suggests Lowering Dose Poses Less Risk

Web Producer: Kerry Corum

Finally, what may be good news about hormone replacement therapy.

Recent results of a small study suggest, cutting the dose of estrogen may be the key to getting the bone building benefits, without the health risks.

A major trial with higher doses was stopped last summer, when the combination of estrogen and progesterone was linked to an increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

This three-year study, of less than 200 postmenopausal women, tested a quarter of the dose of estrogen women are usually prescribed.

Tracey Gaudet, M.D. of Duke University Medical Center says, "I think there are key questions we don't have answered that this study at least starts to address, like what about lower doses? Can we get benefit without the risk, if we use lower doses? And what about different forms of hormones?"

Researchers note that the study demonstrates the need to look at other forms and doses of hormone therapy.