Hip fracture in postmenopausal women after cessation of hormone therapy: Results from a prospective study in a large health management organization

Department of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA.
Menopause (New York, N.Y.) (Impact Factor: 3.36). 07/2011; 18(11):1172-7. DOI: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31821b01c7
Source: PubMed


Millions of women in the United States and across the globe abruptly discontinued postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) after the initial Women's Health Initiative trial publication. Few data describing the effects of HT cessation on hip fracture incidence in the general population are available. We evaluated the impact of HT cessation on hip fracture incidence in a large cohort from the Southern California Kaiser Permanente health management organization.
In this longitudinal observational study, 80,955 postmenopausal women using HT as of July 2002 were followed up through December 2008. Data on HT use after July 2002, antiosteoporotic medication use, and occurrence of hip fracture were collected from the electronic medical record system. Bone mineral density (BMD) was assessed in 54,209 women once during the study period using the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan.
After 6.5 years of follow-up, age- and race-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models showed that women who discontinued HT were at 55% greater risk of hip fracture compared with those who continued using HT (hazard ratio, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.36-1.77). Hip fracture risk increased as early as 2 years after cessation of HT (hazard ratio, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.26-1.84), and the risk incrementally increased with longer duration of cessation (P for trend < 0.0001). Longer duration of HT cessation was linearly correlated with lower BMD (β estimate [SE]) = -0.13 [0.003] T-score SD unit per year of HT cessation; P < 0.0001).
Women who discontinued postmenopausal HT had significantly increased risk of hip fracture and lower BMD compared with women who continued taking HT. The protective association of HT with hip fracture disappeared within 2 years of cessation of HT. These results have public health implications with regard to morbidity and mortality from hip fracture.

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    • "The use of HRT for such a short period will only postpone the onset of menopauserelated symptoms, but for women spending maybe 30 or more years in menopause there is a considerable risk of experiencing related symptoms anyway. The outlook to an osteoporosis epidemic has prompted a recent paper to call for 'new strategies for long-term osteoporosis prevention' (Karim et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Life expectancy has increased by more than 30 years during the last century and continues to increase. Many women already live decades in menopause deprived of naturally produced oestradiol and progesterone, leading to an increasing incidence of menopause-related disorders such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and lack of general well-being. Exogenous oestradiol has traditionally been used to alleviate menopause-related effects. This commentary discusses a radical new method to postpone menopause. Part of the enormous surplus of ovarian follicles can now be cryostored in youth for use after menopause. Excision of ovarian tissue will advance menopause marginally and will not reduce natural fertility. Grafted tissue restores ovarian function with circulating concentrations of sex steroids for years in post-menopausal cancer survivors. Future developments may further utilize the enormous store of ovarian follicles. Currently, the main goal of ovarian cryopreservation is fertility preservation, but grafting of ovarian tissue may also serve endocrine functions as a physiological solution to prevent the massive medical legacy of osteoporosis and menopause-related conditions in the ageing population. This intriguing solution is now technically available; the question is whether this method qualifies for postponing menopause, perhaps initially for those patients who already have cryostored tissue? Copyright © 2015 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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    ABSTRACT: A new study by Karim and colleagues has highlighted the intriguing issue of the consequences of cessation of long-term postmenopausal hormone use. While potential reductions in breast cancer risk and in the incidence of newly diagnosed breast cancer in the era after the Women's Health Initiative study have been heavily debated, the implications of withdrawal from hormone therapy for bone health and fracture risk have remained outside the main scope. This new study has now demonstrated that there is a very clear downside in skeletal outcome that should be considered while evaluating the pros and cons of discontinuing hormone therapy. During 532 686 person-years of observation and a follow-up period of 6.5 years, a 55% increased risk for hip fracture was observed in women who stopped hormone therapy. In view of the dramatic decline in the number of hormone users all around the world, this mini-review discusses the 'neglected' skeletal outcomes of such global trends.
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