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BREAKING MEDICAL NEWS January 7, 2004

HRT Use Plummets

January 7, 2004

Tomorrow’s Journal of the American Medical Association reports that the use of hormone replacement therapy has plummeted in the U.S. since studies confirmed that HRT increases risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease. Stanford University researchers studied databases reporting retail pharmacy prescriptions and physician visits, finding a 66 percent drop in Prempro prescriptions and a 33 percent drop in Premarin prescriptions since 2002.

HRT use had steadily risen in the late 1990s (up to 90 million prescriptions in 1999). The trend reversed in July 2002 after the Women’s Health Initiative and the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study revealed convincing evidence of risk.

Premarin (equine estrogens) and Prempro (estrogens plus medroxyprogesterone) are trademarks of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Premarin’s name is a condensation of the words “pregnant mare’s urine,” reflecting its source.

Hersh AL, Stefanick ML, Stafford RS. National use of postmenopausal hormone therapy. JAMA. 2004;291:47-53.

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