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In his column, Dr. Mike Merrill parroted the anti-estrogen crowd without displaying the requisite convincing familiarity with either the literature or the daily management of symptomatic menopausal women.

Due to his and others' assertions, early menopausal readers may not only choose to needlessly endure their symptoms, but may simultaneously and silently undergo an irreversible loss of bone density that is directly attributable to their oftentimes angst-associated reluctance to use hormonal therapy.

Despite Merrill's contention otherwise, the results of the Women's Health Initiative trial actually showed that estrogen alone was associated with a non-statistically significant decrease in breast cancer and coronary heart disease. While the estrogen plus progestin study arm was associated with a non-significant increased risk of breast cancer, for example, there is no data that shows that estrogen causes breast cancer.

While embracing the WHI trial, Merrill and others erroneously extrapolate its data to that group of not-studied newly menopausal women who seek relief of their moderate to severe hot flashes, vaginal dryness and/or the prevention of osteoporosis.

Alternatives notwithstanding, hormonal therapy is a safe and effective option to assist women with their menopausal symptoms.

David I. Kurss, M.D.

Women's Wellness Center of WNY