After studies appeared showing that treating menopausal complaints with estrogen entailed not wholly positive health effects, the prescription of such preparations declined. A dissertation from the Sahlgrenska Academy now shows that the drop was far from the same among female gynecologists and partners of male gynecologists. They still use estrogen to a greater extent.
During the 1990s there was a strong increase in the use of estrogen to alleviate symptoms of menopause in Sweden and many other countries. The increase was prompted by the many studies published in the 1980s and 1990s showing that different types of estrogen treatment improved the quality of life and at the same time decreased the risk of cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis. Around the turn of the new century, two major American studies were published that could not confirm that estrogen treatment had any effect in preventing cardiovascular disease. The studies also showed, just as others had done before, that the risk of breast cancer and blood clots increased somewhat during estrogen treatment. This had led to a drop in the use of estrogen in recent years.
In her dissertation, Louise Thunell, M.D., compares the attitudes of Swedish gynecologists to prescribing estrogen preparations for menopause problems between the years 1996 and 2003, in other words before and after the American studies. The gynecologists were more cautious in their recommendations about prescriptions in 2003 compared with 1996. In 1996, 44 percent of gynecologists maintained that virtually all women should be offered estrogen treatment, compared with 11 percent in 2003. The proportion of gynecologists who regarded the prevention of osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases as reasons for estrogen treatment declined considerably between 1996 and 2003. More gynecologists pointed out in 2003 that estrogen treatment increased the risk of breast cancer and blood clots than in 1996.
Ulrika Lundin | alfa
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