|May 2004 · Vol. 16, No. 5
Update on menopause:
An expert’s insight on pivotal studies
Confusion about what to do—on the part of both physicians and patients—may be the greatest consequence of recent studies.
Dr. Utian is executive director, North American Menopause Society; professor emeritus, Case University, Cleveland; and gynecologist, The Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Utian serves as an advisor/consultant for Eli Lilly, Pfizer, and Novartis. He has received research funding from Amylin, 3m, Barr, Berlex, BMS, Eli Lilly, Forest, Galen, Glaxo Smith Kline, Neurocrine Biosciences, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Organon, Pharmacia, P & G, Pfizer, Roche, Sepracor, Solvay, Wyeth, and Yamanouchi.
The past 2 years have witnessed a flurry of scientific publications on menopause and related therapies, particularly use of the sex steroid hormones. In turn, attitudes about menopause and hormone therapy have changed. Perhaps the greatest consequence of all the attention is the confusion about what to do, on the part of both provider and patient.
Many organizations responded with considered, evidence-based, practical guidelines. The most detailed and practice-oriented of these guidelines is the North American Menopause Society’s (NAMS’s) September 2003 Position Statement on use of estrogen and progestogen in peri- and postmenopausal women (www.menopause.org). Even as this Update on Menopause is being written, the report of the terminated estrogen-only arm of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) is in press and may further change clinical practice. NAMS will present an updated report on all these developments at the 2004 scientific meeting in Washington, DC, October 6 to 9, 2004. In the interim, the current recommendations hold, and the following publications are of clinical relevance.