From the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md.
Evaluating the risks and benefits of estrogen and related drugs after
menopause is complex given their diverse properties. Major considerations
include the effects of such agents on cardiovascular and bone disease; breast
and endometrial cancer; the plasma lipoproteins and the blood coagulation
system; and hot flashes, vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, and urogenital
function. Some effects may be beneficial, others may be adverse. From these
multifaceted and often disparate properties attempts are made to construct
a balance sheet to better help select from the available agents those that
provide the most benefit and the least harm.1,2
This approach is important in considering the appropriateness of the therapy
either for the individual patient or from the standpoint of public health.
Rifkind BM, Rossouw JE. Of Designer Drugs, Magic Bullets, and Gold Standards. JAMA. 1998;279(18):1483-1485. doi:10.1001/jama.279.18.1483