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Hormone Therapy Doesn't Affect Mammography Recall

Study finds suspending HRT slightly decreases breast density but doesn't improve recall rate

TUESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Suspending hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for a short time before a mammogram to reduce breast tissue density does not improve the mammogram recall rate, according to a study in the June 2 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Diana S.M. Buist, Ph.D., of the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, and colleagues evaluated a cohort of 1,704 women in a Washington State health plan (ages 45 to 80 years), who were on HRT, had had an initial (index) mammogram, and were due for another mammogram. Prior to the upcoming mammogram, 567 women were randomly assigned to not having HRT suspended before the imaging, while 570 women were assigned to having it suspended for one month and 567 women had it suspended for two months. The primary outcome was the need for repeat mammogram (recall) because of breast density possibly related to HRT.

The researchers found that, among the women with no HRT suspension, the recall rate was 11.3 percent, compared to 12.3 percent in the group with one-month HRT suspension and 9.8 percent in the group with two-month HRT suspension. However, the authors note, the changes in breast density were statistically significant: 0.1 percent (no HRT suspension), -0.9 percent (one-month HRT suspension), and -1.5 percent (two-month HRT suspension).

"Brief hormone therapy suspension was associated with small changes in breast density and did not affect recall rates. No evidence supports short-term hormone therapy suspension before mammography," the authors conclude.

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