“We are just looking at women without symptoms who are trying to prevent something bad from happening in the future,” the leader of the task force’s HT analysis, Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, tells WebMD. Bibbins-Domingo is associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “The last time the task force looked at this, they discouraged use of HT for any chronic condition,” Nelson tells WebMD. “And in the real world, there may be some women who took HT for menopausal symptoms and are wondering whether to stay on it. These findings really apply to using HT after the symptoms of menopause are over.”
The updated analysis relies heavily on the now-famous Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study in which older, mostly postmenopausal women received either aplacebo or HT. In that trial, treated women got a form of estrogen called conjugated equine estrogen (CEE, derived from horse urine) plus progestin. Women who had undergone hysterectomy received estrogen (CEE) alone.