A recent study presented at the North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting in October demonstrates that estrogen and progesterone use started close to menopause can improve menopausal symptoms, mood, and heart disease. This is in stark contrast to the Women’s Health Initiative that showed estrogen use increased heart disease, stroke, breast cancer, and thromboembolic disease.
The Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS) was a four-year randomized, double blinded, placebo-controlled study comparing low-dose oral (synthetic) and a bioidentical estrogen patch and monthly progesterone use in over 700 women who were within three years of menopause. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood, and sexual function improved. Bone density and insulin sensitivity improved as well. There was no increase in coronary artery disease and no increase in adverse effects such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, heart attack, stroke, or thromboembolic disease. Although the researchers caution the numbers are too small to make a definite conclusion.
This is great news for women going through menopause!