Climacteric : the journal of the International Menopause Society

Low-dose hormone therapy in postmenopausal women in China.

PMID 19938946


To review the experience of menopausal symptoms and low-dose hormone therapy (HT) in postmenopausal women in China. Literature review and critical summaries of available prospective, clinical trials (randomized, controlled trials, RCTs). Chinese women experience menopausal symptoms less frequently compared with women in developed countries, and the prevalence of menopausal symptoms is less in women of southern China than in women of northern China. The majority of postmenopausal Chinese women lack knowledge about HT, and the usage rate of HT is low in these women compared to that in women of developed countries. Some RCTs investigated the efficacy and safety of low- or ultra-low-dose HT, including conjugated equine estrogen, estradiol valerate, transdermal estradiol, nylestriol alone or in combination with progesterone, and tibolone in postmenopausal Chinese women. These RCTs reported that low- or ultra-low-dose HT relieved menopausal symptoms and prevented bone loss as well as standard-dose HT and was less likely to induce side-effects, including irregular vaginal bleeding and breast tenderness; there may be dose-dependent effects of HT. No study evaluated the effects of low-dose HT on cardiovascular events or breast mammographic density/risk of breast cancer. More RCTs are required to confirm efficacy and to assess the safety of low- or ultra-low-dose HT for a long-term period in a large group of postmenopausal women.

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17α-Ethynylestradiol 3-cyclopentyl ether