Oooops … Year 2017 is knocking on our door. Are you prepared for the next year’s challenges?
These were the highlights of 2016 in the menopause-related fields:
• Education, awareness, attitudes, and the impact of menopause on quality of life and social relations are still gaining a lot of attention.
• Sexuality issues and management of vulvovaginal symptoms (genitourinary syndrome of menopause) attract interest, mainly in regard to new treatment modalities.
• Prevention of chronic diseases of aging is always a major focus. This year started a debate about cholesterol, mainly how low we should go, and it seems that in 2017 this issue will be finally clarified. Already agreed is that the target level for low density lipoprotein cholesterol should at least be in the range of 70–100 mg/dl. Nothing much happens with diabetes mellitus, despite a constant global increase in incidence. The new medications are mainly combinations of known molecules that allow better achievement of treatment goals. Nothing much happens with obesity as well, though bariatric interventions become safer and more popular. Although the new generation of anti-osteoporosis therapies is being developed, the main debate during 2016 continued to be the calcium–vitamin D (CaD) saga. Guidelines still keep the same recommendations; however, it seems that, while an optimal dietary intake is desired, phrasing about CaD supplementation becomes more cautious. Prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is a clear, first-line target but, despite enormous scientific efforts, the right solution is not yet at hand; perhaps next year will carry better messages.
• There were no new, major signals on HRT in 2016. The basic data on advantages and safety profile are clear, and every women or health-care provider can make a personal decision on its use. Reassurance continues on potential risks, especially in the decade postmenopause and when estrogen-alone is used. If we want to be updated, Menopause Live commentaries are very helpful. This is why we repeatedly ask all members to volunteer and prepare short reports on the recent studies that they find valuable and share with the others their ideas and thoughts. So please, be active.
Jean and I wish you and families happy holidays and another year of fulfilment and good health.
Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel