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Objective: • The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) studies were a catalyst for the dramatic decline in the number of postmenopausal women being prescribed hormone therapy (HT). • The WHI published the largest randomized, double-blind, placebocontrolled trial regarding the use of HT in postmenopausal women with a mean age of 63 years. • One group of women thought to benefit from HT but have often been denied HT based on the WHI studies’ results is premature and early menopausal women. • The purpose of this literature review was to compare the WHI studies’ results to studies that reviewed coronary heart disease (CHD) benefits, bone health benefits, and risks of HT in premature and early menopause.

Methods: • Articles published in the last 22 years were initially incorporated to include the WHI studies. • Articles were then further eliminated if they did not discuss CHD or osteoporosis in postmenopausal women less than the age of 45 years.

Results: • This literature review recommends individualizing the use of HT in premature and early menopausal women by evaluating their risk factors and performing a thorough review of their family history. • Further randomized controlled trials and longitudinal studies need to be completed specifically on premature and early menopausal women to confidently substantiate the benefits of HT in the prevention of chronic diseases.


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Hormone replacement therapy, hormone therapy, menopause, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease


Medicine and Health Sciences

The Impact of Hormone Therapy on Cardiovascular and Bone Health in Women with Premature or Early Menopause