IOF endorses Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy

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As a result of new evidence that challenged previously accepted clinical guidelines, there has been much confusion regarding the use of MHT over the past decade. This important new statement reflects broad multi-disciplinary agreement on how MHT should be used, as well as its risks and benefits.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has endorsed a global consensus statement on menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) published today in the journals Climacteric and Maturitas.

As a result of new evidence that challenged previously accepted clinical guidelines, there has been much confusion regarding the use of MHT over the past decade. A Roundtable discussion organized by the International Menopause Society brought together the major regional menopause societies to reach a consensus on core recommendations regarding MHT.

“This is an important statement, because it shows that there is really pretty broad multi-disciplinary agreement on how MHT should be used, and what the risks and benefits are,” said Professor Tobie de Villiers, President of the International Menopause Society.

Among the Consensus Statement’s core observations is the positive role of MHT on bone health. Although MHT is not a primary treatment for osteoporosis, one positive ‘side effect’ is that it slows bone turnover and increases bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women.

At menopause, bone loss accelerates, placing postmenopausal women at higher risk of osteoporosis compared to younger women or men. Various studies and clinical trials have shown that MHT decreases fragility fracture risk by around 30%. When MHT is stopped, bone loss resumes at the same rate as after menopause, although fracture protection may persist for several years.

Professor Cyrus Cooper, chair of the IOF Committee of Scientific Advisors, stated, "For women who are younger than 60 or within 10 years after the menopause, MHT provides an effective option for the management of vasomotor symptoms and other manifestations of oestrogen deficiency.  Over a two to five year period, it may also be effective in retarding bone loss and preventing osteoporosis related fractures."
 

Reference
T. J. de Villiers, M. L. S. Gass, C. J. Haines, J. E. Hall, R. A. Lobo, D. D. Pierrozand M. Rees (2013) Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy
Climacteric 16:203-204.
See IMS release and copy of Consensus Statement