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Postmenopausal Vaginal Estrogen Not Tied to Negative Health Outcomes

No difference in cardiovascular disease, cancer, hip fracture for users or nonusers of vaginal estrogen

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WEDNESDAY, Dec. 19, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- For postmenopausal women, vaginal estrogen use is not associated with negative health outcomes, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in Menopause.

Shilpa N. Bhupathiraju, Ph.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between vaginal estrogen use and multiple health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and hip fracture for postmenopausal women from the Nurses' Health Study (1982 to 2012) who were not current users of systemic hormone therapy. The women self-reported their vaginal estrogen use on biennial questionnaires. They also reported information about health outcomes, which was confirmed from medical records.

The researchers found that after adjustment for covariates, the risks for cardiovascular disease, cancer, and hip fracture did not differ between users and nonusers of vaginal estrogen during 18 years of follow-up. Vaginal estrogen use was not associated with a statistically significant increase in risk for any heath outcome. The stratified results were similar in sensitivity analyses when examined by hysterectomy status.

"Our findings provide a comprehensive summary of the relationship between vaginal estrogen and multiple health outcomes and offer reassurance regarding the safety of low-dose vaginal estrogen to treat genitourinary syndrome of menopause," the authors write.

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