Prevention of postmenopausal bone loss with long-cycle hormone replacement therapy

Popp, Albrecht W E; Bodmer, Christine; Senn, Christoph; Fuchs, Gaby; Kraenzlin, Marius E; Wyss, H; Birkhaeuser, Martin H; Lippuner, Kurt (2006). Prevention of postmenopausal bone loss with long-cycle hormone replacement therapy. Maturitas, 53(2), pp. 191-200. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.maturitas.2005.04.004

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OBJECTIVE: Postmenopausal bone loss and osteoporotic fractures can be prevented by hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, opposed HRT may increase the risk of breast cancer above that associated with estrogen alone and in non-hysterectomized women estrogen substitution alone increases the risk of uterine cancer, which triggered renewed interest in long-cycle HRT regimens (estrogen replacement therapy with progesterone-free intervals up to 6 months). The effects on bone of such long-cycle HRT regimens are unknown. The objective of the present study was to compare the effects on bone and the endometrium of long-cycle HRT and conventional HRT. METHODS: Seventy-three healthy non-hysterectomized postmenopausal women were randomized to either conventional HRT (estradiol (E2) 2 mg/d during 12 days, E2 2 mg/d plus 1 mg/d of norethisterone acetate (NETA) during 10 days, E2 1 mg/d for 6 days) or long-cycle HRT treatment (two cycles with E2 2 mg/d during 28 days, followed by one cycle of conventional HRT and repeated every 3 months). Primary endpoint was the change in bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine (LS) over 24 months. RESULTS: BMD at LS increased significantly versus baseline in both treatment groups (conventional HRT +3.8 +/- 0.6%, long-cycle HRT +3.3 +/- 0.5%, p < 0.0001 for both) with no significant difference between treatment groups over 24 months. Similar significant BMD increases versus baseline were observed at the femoral neck, while biochemical markers of bone turnover (osteocalcin and deoxypyridinoline) were significantly decreased over 24 months. There were no endometrial or breast related adverse events reported. CONCLUSION: Long-cycle HRT may be a valid alternative to conventional HRT with regard to protection against postmenopausal bone loss.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Orthopaedic, Plastic and Hand Surgery (DOPH) > Clinic of Osteoporosis
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Gynaecology

UniBE Contributor:

Popp, Albrecht; Senn, Christoph; Birkhäuser, Martin and Lippuner, Kurt










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:49

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:43

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URI: (FactScience: 3920)

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