The hormone replacement therapy debate

LaCroix AZ, Chlebowski RT, Manson JAE, et al. (2011) Health outcomes after stopping conjugated equine estrogens among postmenopausal women with prior hysterectomy. JAMA, 305(13), 1305-1314.


I decided that it would be interesting to read this article on hormone therapy (HT) and health outcomes after finishing “The Female Brain”. Dr. Brizendine describes in her book some of the symptoms associated with the transition to menopause as well as post-menopause. Every woman is different, and Dr. Brizendine suggests that in some cases hormone therapy might be advisable. After working on breast cancer genetic epidemiology for almost 5 years, her statement seemed surprising.

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North American Menopause Society Mentorship Program

NAMS is a leading menopause research organization.  Once again it is offering a mentorship program that involves meeting with a menopause expert mentor at the Annual NAMS meeting September 21-24 in Washington, DC.  Mentee Applications are due June 25, 2011.

Program Timeline

During the term, each pair must identify a specific research project to be developed, completed, and disseminated through the NAMS Mentorship Program as follows:

  • Year 1: Meet at the NAMS 2011 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC (Sept. 21-24, 2011).
  • Year 2: Present a poster or oral presentation at the NAMS 2012 Annual Meeting in Orlando, FL (Oct. 3-6, 2012)
  • Year 3: Submit a research paper to a peer-reviewed journal, preferably the NAMS official journal Menopause,
    in 2013.

Mentee Applications Now Open

  • Complete the Mentee Application and return to NAMS by June 25, 2011.
  • Remember to include your areas of interest.
  • Be sure to choose Mentors whose interests seem to match yours from the Potential Mentors list.
  • Selected pairs will be notified in early August.

Go to the program links if you are interested in this program.

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Review of: Induced first-trimester abortion and risk of mental disorder

Munk-Olsen, Laursen, T. M., Pedersen, C. B., Lidegaard, O., & Mortensen, P. B. (2011). Induced first-trimester abortion and risk of mental disorder. The New England Journal of Medicine, 364 (4), 332-339.

This poMental Health Awareness Ribbonpulation-based study provides strong evidence that rates of inpatient or outpatient contact at psychiatric facilities do not increase from the 9 months before an abortion to the 12 months after one, while these same rates during the 9 months before childbirth appear to increase in the 12 months after childbirth. As the authors point out, these findings do not support the claim that abortion harms women’s mental health. At the same time, rates of psychiatric contact appear to be higher both before and after the abortion compared to before and after childbirth, suggesting women who have abortions have life circumstances before their abortion that differ from women who have childbirths and that these life circumstances are associated with mental health problems. While this study was not able to provide insight as to what these life circumstances may be, other research has shown that women who have had abortions are more likely to have histories of sexual and physical violence experience—both associated with mental health problems—compared with women who have not had abortions. Consequently, policy and practice should focus on addressing gender-based violence, rather than abortion, as a cause of mental health problems. Addressing this problem not only may promote mental well-being but also may prevent unintended pregnancies.

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BIRCWH is a career development program

Scholars studying topics as diverse as post-traumatic stress among HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa, genetic differences in cancer risk among Latinas, the impact of abortion on mental health, and age-associated functional impairment have been selected for career development awards through the BIRCWH program.

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