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Transforming Women's Long-Term Health

The Menopause Charity Stand: WH-J41
Transforming Women's Long-Term Health

Imagine if over half the UK population experienced the same life-changing health condition, which, if disregarded, would contribute to an increase in disease and illness, an increase in mental health issues, and the likelihood of losing jobs and marriages. Wouldn’t we want to do something about that?

This is the current situation for the 33 million women in the UK who, at some stage in their lives, will experience menopause. Yet with trusted information, greater confidence amongst healthcare professionals to talk about menopause at the mandatory mid-life health check and more widespread use of hormone replacement therapy, women can thrive throughout their second phase of life.

Before menopause, oestrogen and testosterone protect our hearts, bones and brain.  When hormone levels fall, the incidence of heart disease, dementia, osteoporosis, and many other long-term conditions rises.

Consequently, after menopause:

  • Women are twice as likely to develop dementia compared with men
  • Three times more likely to develop osteoporosis
  • The risk of coronary heart disease increases and is the second most common cause of death in women.

HRT: A game changer for Women’s Health

Menopause, therefore, represents a window of opportunity to improve women’s health and longevity. Early recognition and improved access to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) would improve the quality of life for women with menopausal symptoms.  This inexpensive treatment has direct and indirect benefits, effectively treating menopausal symptoms and enabling women to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviours that reduce their risk of chronic disease.

We now know that HRT is much safer, and more modern formulations don’t increase the risk of blood clots, stroke, or breast cancer.  And the significant long-term health benefits of HRT are compelling.  When initiated within ten years of menopause, HRT reduces the risk of diabetes by 30%, halves the risk of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis, and reduces all-cause mortality by 30%.  

Dr Radhika Vohra, clinical Trustee at The Menopause Charity, says, ‘Sadly, despite the favourable benefit-risk profile, HRT prescribing rates have never fully recovered.  Today, only 14% of eligible women use HRT.  Women from ethnic minority groups and deprived areas are more likely to benefit but less likely to use HRT.  At The Menopause Charity, we believe that encouraging more widespread use of body-identical hormone therapy in the menopause transition would result in significant health benefits for many women.’

HRT reduces all-cause mortality by 30%

No other single therapeutic intervention would have a more significant positive impact on women’s future health than high-quality menopause care.  Read the mounting evidence that when initiated early, close to menopause, HRT can delay and prevent many major health conditions that affect women in their later years.

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