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Hormone Replacement Therapy

The medical world was shocked when a major clinical study involving over 16,000 women came to a halt after five years because of the risks of heart disease, breast cancer, strokes, and blood clots found to occur. The study was intended to continue until 2005, but on May 31, 2002, the decision to end the study was decided by an expert panel. There were 6 million American women taking hormone replacement therapy at the time the study was released. The women participating in the study were sent letters telling them to stop the drugs.

Hormone replacement therapy had been a customary prescription for women who had not had a hysterectomy to take when reaching menopause for decades, and the results of the study came as such a shock to medical experts many physicians did not know what to tell their patients and they unplugged their phones when their phone lines became flooded with worried women.

There were an estimated 38% of women past menopause taking hormone replacement therapy when the announcement of the study's data was released, with around 70 million prescriptions created every year. In one year's time, for every 10,000 women who take estrogen-progestin combination, there will be eight more breast cancers, eight more strokes, and seven more heart attacks. Due to the millions of women that take the hormone replacement therapy the number of illnesses rapidly add up.