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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17378

Title: Losing Heart: The Estrogen Dilemma - Rethinking Health Research for Midlife Women
Authors: Abramson, Zelda
Issue Date: May-2002
Publisher: Pristine Publications
Citation: Women's Health and Urban Life, Vol 1 (1)
Abstract: Although menopause has historically been viewed as time of ill-health, the medical definition of menopause as a disease was established in 1966 with the simultaneous marketing of synthetic estrogen to relieve all menopausal symptoms and to keep women looking young and beautiful. Over the next 30 years many new benefits were linked to estrogen use, the two most compelling being substantial reductions in osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease risks. The latest research on postmenopausal estrogen use reveals that the benefits of estrogen on heart health were overstated and that earlier studies were confounded by biased samples. Notwithstanding this new finding, medical practice guidelines continue to promote estrogen as the treatment of choice for postmenopausal women. This paper traces the research and marketing of synthetic estrogen and I argue that the pharmaceutical industry in tandem with physicians have proselytized the benefits of estrogen even though the robustness of research findings have been challenged, consumer compliance has been relatively low, and there are many adverse health effects associated with estrogen use. It is time for medical researchers to rethink the biomedical model of menopause and develop new research guidelines that embrace the precautionary principle and treat menopause as a natural process in a woman’s life cycle.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/17378
Appears in Collections:Social Sciences

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