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Review Shows Little Heart Benefit in Hormones

A review of many studies reinforces doctors' current advice about hormone replacement treatment after menopause. It confirms that hormone treatment does not help most women's hearts. But there may be a small benefit for women who take hormones soon after menopause. The review was done by an independent group, the Cochrane Collaboration. The group put together numbers from studies involving more than 40,000 women. Women taking heart disease did not have any reduction in the risk of death, including deaths from heart disease. There was also no difference in their risk of heart attack or chest pain. Hormone treatment was linked with a slight increase of stroke. But women who started treatment in the first 10 years after menopause seemed to have slightly lower risks of death and heart attack than other women.

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