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Government adviser urges caution on HRT

A member of the expert Government group investigating the risks and benefits of HRT has urged GPs to be more cautious in their prescribing of the therapy.

The warning was prompted by latest results from a landmark US study that conclude HRT risks outweigh its benefits, even in women at high risk of fracture.

Leaders of the Women's Health Initiative trial ­ of 16,000 asymptomatic women aged 50-79 ­ reported in JAMA that oestrogen-progestogen HRT raised ovarian cancer risk by 58 per cent. The trial was halted early after previous results showed increased risks of breast cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Mr David Sturdee, a member of the CSM expert group and a consultant gynaecologist at Solihull hospital, said: 'We've got to be more selective in who we give [HRT]

to. There's got to be a good reason for taking it ­ either

for symptoms or bone pro-

tection.'

But he played down the US warnings, stressing that the HRT regimen used in the WHI trial was different from UK formulations and the women involved were all post-menopausal.

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