Letters

Hormone replacement therapy

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7091.1415 (Published 10 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1415

Damage is done by pressure groups that distort the evidence

  1. Geoffrey Venning, Independent consultant in pharmaceutical medicine*a
  1. a 14 Lucas Road, High Wycombe HP13 6QG
  2. b Department of Medical Informatics, Biometry, and Epidemiology, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44780 Bochum, Germany

    Editor—Elizabeth H Price and colleagues present a biased analysis in their letter stating that women need to be warned about the dangers of hormone replacement therapy.1 They confuse the epidemiology of oral contraceptive use and that of hormone replacement therapy, which is less advanced. They claim an increased incidence of ovarian cancer with oral contraceptives (wrongly described as contraceptive hormones). It has been known for 20 years that they protect against ovarian cancer.2 The magnitude is important and long lasting and increases with duration of use. They make the same claim for “menopausal hormones.” It is not true of unopposed oestrogen (they selected one of six papers). It is obviously untrue for combined oestrogen-progestogen therapy.

    They omit any reference to the protective effect of the pill against endometrial cancer (the benefit is similar to that seen with ovarian cancer). They misrepresent the situation with regard to osteoporosis: only the duration, not the …

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