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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Cholesterol Related Health Issues

HRT involves the replacement of estrogen that is lost during menopause. The main goal of hormone replacement is to reduce the symptoms associated with "perimenopause." Perimenopause refers to the period of time before menopause (as much as 10 years or more before). Common symptoms are hot flashes, irritability, anxiety, depression, night sweats and heavier, more irregular periods.

HRT typically combines estrogen and progesterone to reduce the risk of uterine cancer. HRT can relieve some symptoms of menopause and can improve bone density and reduce the incidence of hip fractures in women with osteoporosis.

Older studies suggest that heart replacement therapy provided an added benefit in postmenopausal women in reducing the risk of heart disease. Later research found differently and HRT is no longer recommended as a means to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. HRT consisting of estrogen and progesterone increased the risk of heart attack, stroke, breast cancer, blood clots, and overall cardiovascular disease.

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