Health Watch - Aging: Hormone Therapy

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about issues and challenges that come with growing older. Hormone-replacement therapy has been used to prevent a variety of health problems in post-menopausal women, but recent studies are casting doubts on the benefits. Some research has shown that hormone therapy could raise breast cancer risks. It also may increase the risk for kidney stones.

Women are less likely than men to develop kidney stones, and this difference decreases after menopause, so doctors had thought that hormone-replacement therapy could prevent kidney stones. But researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center found that post-menopausal women taking hormones are more likely to develop kidney stones.

Dr. Naim Maalouf, a UT Southwestern mineral metabolism researcher, says kidney stones are affected by a variety of lifestyle factors, so it’s hard to tell the cause, but doctors should consider these results when considering whether or not to prescribe hormones.

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November 2010


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