ParticipantsPostmenopausal women aged 50-69 atrandomisation; 3721 women with a uterus were randomised to combinedoestrogenand progestogen (n=1862) or placebo (n=1859). Data onhealthrelated quality of life at one year were available from 1043 and 1087 women, respectively.
InterventionsConjugated equine oestrogen 0.625 mgplus medroxyprogesteroneacetate 2.5/5.0 mg or matched placebo orallydaily for one year.
Main outcome measuresHealth related quality oflife and psychologicalwellbeing as measured by the women’s healthquestionnaire. Changes in emotional and physical menopausal symptomsas measuredby a symptoms questionnaire and depression by the CentreforEpidemiological Studies depression scale (CES-D). Overallhealthrelated quality of life and overall quality of life asmeasuredby the European quality of life instrument (EuroQol) andvisualanalogue scale, respectively.
ResultsAfter one year small but significantimprovements wereobserved in three of nine components of the women’shealthquestionnaire for those taking combined HRT compared withthosetaking placebo: vasomotor symptoms (P<0.001), sexualfunctioning(P<0.001), and sleep problems (P<0.001). Significantlyfewer women in the combined HRT group reported hotflushes (P<0.001), night sweats (P<0.001), aching joints andmuscles (P=0.001), insomnia (P<0.001), and vaginal dryness (P<0.001) thanin the placebo group, but greater proportionsreported breasttenderness (P<0.001) or vaginal discharge (P<0.001). Hotflushes were experienced in the combined HRT andplacebo groupsby 30% and 29% at trial entry and 9% and 25% at oneyear, respectively. No significant differences in other menopausalsymptoms, depression, or overall quality of life were observed at oneyear.
ConclusionsCombined HRT started many years afterthe menopausecan improve health related quality of life.