Tara Haelle

October 05, 2017

PHILADELPHIA — With a new position statement in hand and recently published data from the recent Women's Health Initiative (WHI) follow-up study, hormone therapy will lead the program at the upcoming North American Menopause Society (NAMS) 2017 Annual Meeting.

The updated NAMS position statement on hormone therapy (Menopause. 2017;24:728-753) will be presented by JoAnn Pinkerton, MD, from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, who is executive director of NAMS.

"We looked at everything from hot flashes and sleep disturbances to bone and cardiovascular concerns. We looked at breast cancer, colon cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer, and even looked at the joints," Dr Pinkerton told Medscape Medical News. "We really tried to state the good and the bad of hormone therapy."

The position statement also covers special populations, such as women who experience early menopause and those with a history of breast cancer.

Findings from the WHI follow-up study (JAMA. 2017;318:927-938), reported by Medscape Medical News, support and add evidence for the NAMS recommendations, Dr Pinkerton pointed out. The WHI data show no increase or decrease in the risk for overall mortality, cancer-related mortality, or cardiovascular mortality.

Research on hormone therapy will be presented throughout the meeting, including studies addressing topics such as the association between hormone therapy and migraines and the effects of misperceptions related to the WHI data.

But hormone therapy will not completely dominate the program. A special plenary symposium will focus on lesbian health and sexuality.

"That is a really hot topic," Dr Pinkerton said. "How do we take care of women who are lesbian? What do we need to be thinking about?"

That symposium will feature a presentation on lesbian sexuality and fluidity by Lisa Diamond, PhD, professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and one on caring for the middle-aged lesbian woman by Patricia Robertson, MD, professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the UCSF School of Medicine in San Francisco.

Focus on Technology

The premeeting symposium on musculoskeletal health in postmenopausal women fits with the meeting's theme of technology. There will be sessions on dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry best practices and case reports, on new imaging strategies for the assessment of bone health and the prevention and management of osteoporosis, and on advances in breast imaging, including 3D tomography and molecular breast imaging.

The impact of social media on medicine and consumer education will be addressed by NAMS President Marla Shapiro, MDCM, professor of family and community medicine at the University of Toronto, during her presidential symposium. Other speakers will discuss mobile health technology and the use of technology to improve patient engagement and outcomes during that symposium.

A substantial portion of the programming will look at vaginal health. For example, there will be sessions on the management of dyspareunia and other symptoms of genitourinary syndrome and on the selection of progesterones. In addition, preliminary findings on investigational and recently approved formulations for genitourinary and menopausal symptoms will be presented.

"NAMS is a diverse organization, with ob/gyns, primary care physicians, women's health nurse practitioners, clinicians from the mental health community, and others from the United States, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia," said Andrew Kaunitz, MD, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, who is scientific chair of the meeting.

"We want to meet the needs of this diverse group with our content," he told Medscape Medical News.

"I think we have something for everyone who's engaged in the health of menopausal women," Dr Kaunitz said. "I hope our audience finds the content and the presentations not only interesting, but also useful in improving how all of us care for our menopausal patients."

Dr Pinkerton reports receiving research funds through the University of Virginia from TherapeuticsMD for clinical research. Dr Kaunitz reports receiving funds through the University of Florida from Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Millendo, Mithra and TherapeuticsMD; receiving royalties from UpToDate; and serving as a consultant for AMAG, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co, Mithra, Pfizer, Sebela, and Shionogi.

Follow Medscape Ob/Gyn on Twitter @MedscapeObGyn and Tara Haelle @tarahaelle

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