Researchers estimate that about 50,000 deaths could have been prevented if women who had hysterectomies took estrogen hormonal therapy.
"Estrogen avoidance has resulted in a real cost in women's lives every year for the last 10 years -- and the deaths continue," Dr. Philip Sarrel, emeritus professor in the Departments of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine, said in a press release. "We hope this article will stir an overdue debate and raise consciousness about the health benefits of estrogen-only therapy for women in their 50s with no uterus."
The study was published on July 18 in the American Journal of Public Health.
After the 2002 Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, patients and doctors became wary of using estrogen therapy. The WHI was 15-year study involving post-menopausal women between 50 and 79, who were enrolled in clinical trials of hormone therapy, dietary modification and taking calcium/vitamin D supplements. More than 160,000 women were involved in at least one of the three portions of the study.
The study found that an estrogen-progestin combination therapy was shown to increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and blood clots in women compared to those took a placebo.