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Editorial
February 27, 2006

Decision Making at the Fringe of EvidenceTake What You Can Get

Arch Intern Med. 2006;166(4):389-390. doi:10.1001/archinte.166.4.389

The symptoms of menopause can disrupt the lives of menopausal women by triggering menstrual irregularity, hot flashes, insomnia, and vaginal dryness. While the severity and duration of symptoms vary, most women seek some form of symptom relief.1 Menopausal hormone therapy (HT), the only highly effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, had been the mainstay of treatment until large randomized studies reported cardiovascular disease risks associated with its use and confirmed risks of breast cancer and venous thrombotic events.2 In the wake of these studies, many women have turned to natural remedies, with substantial growth in sales of phytoestrogens, herbal remedies, and bioidentical or “natural” hormones. The rising popularity of unproven, untested menopausal treatments demonstrates that many women find the risk-benefit profile of standard HT preparations to be unacceptable.

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