What is the role of menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in the prevention of osteoporosis?

Updated: Sep 13, 2021
  • Author: Nicole K Banks, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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One in 3 postmenopausal women develops osteoporosis. [4] HT is commonly prescribed to help prevent this condition, and HT appears to be particularly effective if it is started during the first 5 years after the onset of menopause. Women who have a decreased bone mineral density and those with a known history of osteoporotic fractures benefit from HT. Women with premature menopause also benefit from the bone-protective benefit of HT. However, they may lose protection after they stop taking hormones.

Absolute risks based on results from the WHI trial indicated that 5 years of combined hormone therapy reduced the incidence of hip fractures by about 1 case per 1000 women younger than 70 years and by about 8 cases per 1000 women aged 70-79 years.

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