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LaCroix and colleagues [1] recently reported health outcomes after stopping therapy among postmenopausal women randomized to conjugated equine estrogens (CEE) in the estrogen-only arm of the Women’s Health Initiative. A total of 7645 women (78% of the original cohort) gave consent to be included in this follow-up over a mean duration of 10.7 years. Post-intervention use of estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) in the two groups was 3% and 2.7%, respectively. Post-intervention annualized rates comparing women originally randomized to CEE with those randomized to placebo were reported for the following conditions: coronary heart disease: hazard ratio (HR) 0.97, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.75–1.25; breast cancer: HR 0.75, 95% CI 0.51–1.09; stroke: HR 0.89, 95% CI 0.64–1.24; venous thrombosis: HR 0.63, 95% CI 0.41–0.98; hip fracture: HR 1.27, 95% CI 0.88–1.82. Over the entire follow-up period (i.e. the active treatment intervention phase [i]and[/i] the post-intervention follow-up), the incidence of breast cancer was lower in the CEE group (HR 0.77, 95% CI 0.62–0.95).


  • Rodney J. Baber
    Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Sydney, Head, Menopause Unit, The Royal North Shore Hospital of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


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