Hormone treatment improves quality of life in menopausal women
Estrogen or progesterone treatments safely reduce the effects of menopause while also improving mood and signs of cardiovascular disease. The Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System and the UW, along with eight other U.S. establishments, recently presented a study illustrating those effects to the North American Menopause Society.
The study recruited women younger than the average age of a woman with menopause as participants and used lower doses of hormones in comparison to other menopausal hormone therapy studies, which may account for the more positive results. The study also compared oral and transdermal (skin-patch) estrogen applications, with a cyclical administration of 12 days a month.
Extending over four years, the study randomly sorted 727 women between the ages of 42 and 58 into three types of treatment: oral conjugated equine estrogen (Premarin) at 0.45 milligrams a day, placebo, and estradiol transdermal via a patch at 50 micrograms a day. All the women were within three years after onset of menopause at the time of randomization. Those women with estrogen also received 200 milligrams of progesterone for 12 days a month. The lower doses resulted in a majority of the women having no periods, while both medicated groups increased in bone density and reported far more pleasurable sex. The study also stated that lowering the dosage probably led to the negligible effect on blood pressure, whereas previous higher doses of hormones led to increased blood pressure levels.
Other beneficial side effects from the oral estrogen included an increase in good cholesterol and a trend toward lower glucose levels, whereas the estradiol transdermal improved glucose levels and insulin sensitivity, with few other effects. Admittedly, the changes in said biomarkers were small and within normal range. Of all the women participating in the study, 662 enrolled in a supplemental study that helped improve their emotional health. Such an array of improvements points the way toward further research and more options to treat the less desirable side effects of menopause.
Harborview publishes results of 36 years of burn care
Data from the UW Medicine Regional Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center was published recently after review. From 1974 to 2009, the center tracked burn-care outcomes and demographics, leading to a huge data set from which to analyze and observe and to improve research on treatments and burn care. The incidence of large burn admissions declined overall, while most injuries occurred at home. Scalding was the most common burn in children. An estimated half of the people admitted required skin grafting, with two procedures on average. Fatalities decreased from 12 percent to 6 percent until midway through the 1980s, and since then the rate has hovered at about 6 percent. With this data, better understanding and care of burn patients is possible.
Findlay Wallace symposium, Oct. 9
The Findlay Wallace Symposium: The Future of Graduate Medical Education will be held Oct. 9 at the Magnuson Health Sciences Building in Hogness Auditorium from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a reception. Wallace, UW emeritus professor of medicine in general internal medicine, directed the UW Internal Medicine Residency Program from 1977 to 2007, during which a number of innovations and a rise to national prominence occurred. The number of women and underrepresented minorities nearly doubled in the residency program, while Wallace also pioneered traditional and primary-care tracks of study for medical graduates. Discussion topics at the symposium will include residency futures and fellowship training programs, along with analysis of the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (WWAMI) Program and new accreditation systems. Will Bremner, chairman of the Department of Medicine, will moderate. Paul Ramsey, CEO and dean of the UW School of Medicine; Ken Steinberg, director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program; and Findlay Wallace will speak, among others.
Reach reporter Garrett Black at email@example.com. Twitter: @garrettjblack
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