Update on Hormone Replacement: Sorting Out the Options for Preventing Coronary Artery Disease and Osteoporosis

, Ohio State University

Disclosures

Medscape General Medicine. 1996;1(1) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Menopause is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis and coronary artery disease. The onset of menopause is an excellent time to assess a woman's overall health and the need for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or other measures to reduce menopausal symptoms, prevent bone loss, and reduce the risk of heart attack. Available HRT can be given in a variety of dosages and formulations, and it can be adjusted to the needs of the individual. If HRT is contraindicated or not accepted, 2 alternative therapies (alendronate and salmon calcitonin) may be offered to treat osteoporosis.

Introduction

Although not a disease, menopause is associated with "dis-ease," annoying physiologic changes and symptoms such as "hot flashes" and vaginal atrophy. It also has been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis and coronary artery disease. The onset of menopause is an excellent time for the woman's principal physician to assess her overall health and need for health maintenance measures, which may include hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Estrogen is the only FDA-approved therapy for osteoporosis prevention. It is also an excellent agent for the treatment of established osteoporosis; however, not all women can tolerate HRT. Two new drugs, salmon calcitonin nasal spray and alendronate sodium, have been recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of established osteoporosis.

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