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Minerva Ginecologica 2003 February;55(1):43-50


language: Italian

Indications to hormone replacement therapy

Mainini G., Festa B., Festa G., Messalli E. M., Ragucci A.


Background. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate indications and contraindications, advisability and compliance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women in the climacteric who, owing to the cessation of ovarian activity, face loss of the state of present and future wellbeing.
Methods. A series of 602 women who have attended the Menopause Centre of the II Division of the Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the Second University of Naples in the period from 1/12/1998 to 10/4/2001. The diagnostic methodology adopted is outlined and the reasons for the prescription of HRT indicated. Patients who do not present contraindications were assessed in relation to the gravity of the climacteric syndrome and the likelihood of a future pathology bound up with the lack of estrogens. The intensity of the symptomatology was assessed on the basis of Kuppermann's nomogram.
Results. The cessation of ovarian activity occurred between the ages of 40 and 45 in 16.9% of cases while the percentage was 5.9% prior to the age of 40. Cases in which a climacteric syndrome was present numbered 147, or 24.2%. Women who present a cardiovascular risk represent a noteworthy percentage (27.1%). A high number of women are at osteoporotic risk: 223, or 37.0%. Although it has a great number of indications, HRT is only prescribed in about half the patients. Stress is laid on the caution exercised by physicians in prescribing HRT and the diffidence of women in accepting it. Of the well-known contraindications to HRT the most common are those relative to the mammary risk.
Conclusions. HRT was only prescribed for about half the women who came to our attention both as a result of the caution of the physicians who consider even relative contraindications peremptory, and because of the diffidence of a percentage of women with regard to such therapy. Alternative therapies to HRT are in fact a second valid choice, especially in the prevention of osteoporosis.

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