Thanks to many public health advances, in the developed countries the average woman will be postmenopausal for about one third of her life. As a consequence, she and her physician will ultimately need to make a decision about postmenopausal estrogen-replacement therapy. This treatment has been used for several decades, but there is a surprising lack of consensus about when and how to use it. The initial goal of estrogen-replacement therapy was to alleviate menopausal symptoms. More recently, the possibility has emerged that estrogen can reduce morbidity and mortality from ischemic heart disease and osteoporosis. However, women and their physicians must.
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