Follow-up to alarming reports issued at turn of century says women on therapy do not die sooner than those on placebos

Women will be able to take hormone replacement pills without worrying that the therapy will shorten their lifespans, according to the longest follow-up yet of research that raised fears about the risks of a once-popular treatment.

That earlier research was stopped early when unexpected harm was found to be caused by the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – oestrogen alone or in combination with progestin, a synthetic hormone.

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