WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Postmenopausal women should not use hormone therapy for prevention of chronic conditions, an influential U.S. panel said Tuesday.
In a final recommendation statement, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against the use of combined estrogen and progestin in women who have gone through menopause, or estrogen alone in postmenopausal women who have had their uterus removed, to prevent heart disease, dementia and stroke.
"In women who have already been through menopause, the use of hormone therapy to prevent chronic conditions has significant harms," USPSTF chair David Grossman said in a statement.
Harms of hormone therapy with combined estrogen and progestin use include an increased risk for invasive breast cancer and heart disease, while harms of estrogen use alone include risk of stroke, blood clots and gallbladder disease, the panel said.
The recommendation, consistent with the USPSTF's 2012 final and 2017 draft recommendation statements, only applies to women who have gone through menopause and are considering hormone therapy to prevent chronic health problems, it said.
Women who are considering hormone therapy to manage menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes or night sweats, are not included in this recommendation and should talk to their doctors, said the panel.
The final recommendation also does not apply to women who have experienced premature menopause or have had their ovaries surgically removed prior to menopause, commonly known as surgical menopause.
The panel's recommendation has been published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The USPSTF is an independent, volunteer panel of experts that makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services such as screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications.