Hormone Preparations Tied to Increased Bone Mineral Density in Postmenopausal Women

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Findings show a protective effect against osteopenia in both current and past users.

HealthDay News — Hormone preparations increase lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online May 2 in Menopause.

Yiran Wang, MD, and Chao Sun, MD, from the First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in China, evaluated the associations between hormone preparations with lumbar spine BMD, osteopenia, and osteoporosis in 6031 postmenopausal women.

The researchers found a positive association between combined oral contraceptive pills, estrogen-only pills, estrogen/progestin combo pills, estrogen-only patches, or the use of more than 2 kinds of hormone preparations with lumbar spine BMD. Other hormone preparations also had a protective effect against osteopenia (all odds ratios less than 1.0), except for estrogen-only patches, but none of them were associated with osteoporosis prevalence. In the current and past users groups, BMD increased by 0.10 and 0.04g/cm2, respectively, vs nonusers. The risk for osteopenia was reduced in both current and past user groups (odds ratios, 0.34 and 0.57, respectively).

“This large cross-sectional study showed that current and prior use of multiple types of hormone therapies, including combined hormone contraception used in premenopausal women and menopause hormone therapies, were linked with bone protection in postmenopausal women and that these effects persisted after discontinuation of treatment,” Stephanie Faubion, MD, medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement. “Additional study is needed to investigate the influence of time since stopping hormone therapy as well as the differential effects of various doses and formulations on bone health, including fracture risk.”

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