St. Petersburg Times

Print storySubscribe to the Times

FDA campaign takes on hormone therapy

By Wire services
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2003

WASHINGTON - Women who choose hormone therapy to treat symptoms of menopause should use the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time.

That's the theme of a new government campaign that aims to help women confused by news about the risks of long-term hormone use - even as hormones remain a mainstay for treating hot flashes.

A year ago, a major study concluded long-term use of the hormones estrogen and progestin is more dangerous than once thought. The pills significantly increased a woman's risk of a heart attack or stroke beginning in the first year of use and increased the risk of breast cancer after four years of use.

But hormone therapy has some benefits. It's considered the most effective treatment for hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. It's also one option to prevent bone-thinning osteoporosis.

Tuesday, the FDA unveiled a Web site, with hormone information, including a pocket guide to bring to the doctor's office when discussing options.

Food pyramid to take into account age, other factors

WASHINGTON - The Agriculture Department plans to revise its food guide pyramid to include for the first time consideration of people's age, gender, weight and the amount of exercise they get in helping calculate their dietary needs.

Eric Hentges, executive director of the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, said the proposed formula and accompanying promotional materials will be aimed specifically at people who are overweight or who don't get enough exercise.

Hentges said the pyramid's basic premise will remain. Consumers will be encouraged to limit total fat intake to 30 percent of their calories and saturated fat to less than 10 percent.

The department plans to publish its proposal Thursday and collect opinions from the public and experts before making changes.

Study: Brisk walking can reduce breast cancer risk

CHICAGO - Brisk walking for just an hour or two weekly can help older women reduce their risk of breast cancer by nearly 20 percent, even if they have used hormone pills for symptoms of menopause, a study found.

The findings are based on data from a landmark study that linked hormone use to breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes. They suggest that exercise might help counteract, but not cancel out, the slightly increased risk of breast cancer faced by longtime hormone users, said lead researcher Dr. Anne McTiernan of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The findings appear in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

World and national headlines
  • Al-Qaida threat looms in U.S.
  • In their words
  • Barbie - or Jezebel?
  • Study: No extra cost for long, healthy life
  • FDA campaign takes on hormone therapy
  • Bush urges new power to pursue terrorists
  • At 8:46, a pause to remember
  • Birthday picked to honor the lost
  • Israel tries to kill a leader of Hamas

  • Columbia
  • 'Columbia' pieces packed up for storage

  • Iraq
  • Wounded billed for hospital food
  • U.N. diplomats see chance of Iraq deal

  • Nation in brief
  • Report calls for ad limits, taxes to curb youth drinking

  • Washington in brief
  • House approves identity theft bill

  • World in brief
  • Isabel strengthens as it heads west
  • Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111