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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Estrogen Therapy Found to Cut Post-Menopausal Risk of Death

June 19, 1997|From Times staff and wire reports

Estrogen replacement therapy can reduce the risk of death in post-menopausal women as much as 37%, especially among those with high risk factors for heart disease, but the benefits decline for some women with prolonged use, according to a report in the June 19 New England Journal of Medicine. The results were obtained from the Nurses' Health Study, begun in 1976, of more than 121,000 women.

The Harvard team found that estrogen therapy sharply reduced the incidence of breast cancer initially, but that the incidence rose with prolonged use. For women with a family history of heart disease, the team concluded, the therapy should be discontinued after 10 to 15 years.

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