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BREAKING MEDICAL NEWS April 14, 2004

Premarin Increases Stroke Risk

April 14, 2004

Tomorrow’s Journal of the American Medical Association reports that women treated with Premarin (estrogens derived from horse urine, Wyeth) alone were 39 percent more likely to have a stroke during a 7-year follow-up period in the Women’s Health Initiative, compared to women treated with placebo. This portion of the study included 10,739 postmenopausal women, aged 50-79, with a prior hysterectomy. Estrogens appeared to reduce hip fracture risk. The Women’s Health Initiative had already shown that estrogens combined with progesterone increased the risk of heart disease, breast cancer, stroke, and potentially fatal blood clots. An accompanying editorial recommended against estrogen use for prevention of heart disease or fractures.

The Women’s Health Initiative Steering Committee. Effects of conjugated equine estrogen in postmenopausal women with hysterectomy: the Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2004;291:1701-1712.

Hulley SB, Grady D. The WHI Estrogen-Alone Trial—Do things look any better? JAMA. 2004;291:1769-1771.

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