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Risks of HRT outweigh osteoporosis benefit

GPs should not prescribe HRT to asymptomatic women even if they are at high risk of osteoporosis, according to a consensus group chaired by a Government adviser.

For most women the raised risks of breast cancer and vascular disease outweigh the bone protection benefits, concluded the group after hearing two days of evidence at the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh last week.

The group was led by Professor David Purdie, a member of the Department of Health working group conducting an urgent inquiry into the benefits and risks associated with HRT use.

The consensus group, which has passed its views to the department and the Scottish Executive, heard that up to a fifth of current UK users are taking HRT primarily to prevent osteoporosis.

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