November 1957

A Review of the Prolonged Use of Estrogens and Androgens in Postmenopausal and Senile Osteoporosis

Author Affiliations


From the Medical Service of the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. Henneman); Research and Clinical Fellow in Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (Dr. Wallach).

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(5):715-723. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260110031005

I. Introduction  Postmenopausal osteoporosis is not generally recognized as a common cause for back pain. Even when recognized it is often accepted as the normal state of the spine for the age. Finally, even when postmenopausal osteoporosis is recognized and the need for therapy appreciated, effective therapy is withheld on the bases that osteoporosis is a self-limited disease, that hormone therapy is dangerous, particularly in regard to stimulation of cancerogenesis, and that hormone therapy is too complicated for general use. It has been our experience that osteoporosis is a common disease state of postmenopausal women, that it may produce severe and disabling back pain, and that estrogen and androgen therapy is effective, safe, and simple. This paper reviews the nature of osteoporosis, summarizes the published balance studies in which estrogen and androgen therapy can be evaluated, and indicates the highlights of our own experience in the prolonged estrogen treatment of

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