Patch Safer Than Pill in Hormone Therapy

LONDON, June 4 (UPI) — Hormone replacement therapy may be safer when given in low-dose patches, a study in the British Medical Journal said.

A study of 75,000 patients in Canada and Germany between 1987 and 2006 found patches containing low doses of estrogen carried a lower risk of stroke than hormone replacement therapy given in pill form, the BBC reported Friday.

Hormone replacement therapy commonly is prescribed to ease the symptoms of menopause, which include hot flashes, mood changes, bone thinning and night sweats.

Women in the study who used hormone replacement therapy in pill form had a 25 percent to 30 percent increased risk of stroke, regardless of what dose of estrogen they took, the researchers said in a recent issue of the British Medical Journal.

The increased risk, however, was not found in women who took hormone replacement therapy in pill form for less than one year.

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