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Title Hormone Therapy Aids Postural Balance in Postmenopausal Women
Date 8 May 2012
Full Story A recently published study from Brazil has shown that postmenopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) had better postural balance and a lower risk of falls.

While age, sex, diseases, medications, vision problems, and impaired functional capacity are known to contribute to falls, few studies have looked at the role of hormone therapy.

This new study compared 102 postmenopausal women who had received HRT continuously for the preceding six months with 123 who did not receive HRT.

The authors found no differences in the two groups' histories of falls during the previous two years, or in clinical and anthropometric characteristics.

Overall, users presented a significantly lower occurrence of falls (36.7%) compared with nonusers (63.3%). There was also "a better response among users as expressed in the stabilometric parameters of postural balance."

The authors believe HRT has a role to play in improving balance and reducing falls, especially if started in early postmenopause.

They acknowledge, however, that their study population consisted of women seen at a specialized outpatient unit for Menopause care at a university hospital and the "results cannot be extended to another population type."

They also note that the history of falls was retrospectively obtained using interviews and was subject to recall bias. In addition, users "were younger and had been menopausal for a shorter period of time, which could interfere with the results."

Knowing that HRT maintains bone density, this possible additional benefit of improving balance and reducing the risk of falls may further contribute to the known reduced risk of osteoporotic fracture in women who take HRT.

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