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Last Updated: Friday, 13 February, 2004, 11:50 GMT
HRT 'only for the menopause'
Only the smallest dose should be prescribed
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) should not be used for women without menopausal symptoms, according to University of Leicester researchers.

They agreed with an earlier report in 2003, that HRT should not be the first treatment for osteoporosis.

The benefits of HRT were relief of menopausal symptoms, prevention of hip fractures and a reduced risk of some cancers.

But users had an greater risk of breast cancer, heart disease and strokes.

The researchers, led by Professor Keith Abrams, based their analysis on white women in the UK, who were over 50, with or without menopausal symptoms, who had used combined HRT for five years.

The findings supported an earlier report by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare Products Dvelopment Agency in 2003.

The researchers concluded: "HRT for primary prevention of chronic diseases in women without menopausal symptoms is unjustified.

"Perceived quality of life in women with symptoms should be taken into account when deciding on HRT."

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