February 2002

From Lancet

HRT could protect against leg ulcers

N.B. Please note that if you outside North America the embargo date for Lancet press material is 0001 hours UK time Friday 22 February 2002.

Elderly women given hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be at a reduced risk of developing leg ulcers and pressure sores, conclude authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET.

Pressure ulcers and venous leg ulcers are common chronic wounds. Oestrogens in the form of HRT might have an effect on wound healing, but this possibility has not been widely studied.

David Margolis and colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, USA, studied the records of around 45,000 elderly patients (older than 65 years) from the UK General Practice Research Database. Patients who received HRT were around 35% less likely to develop a venous leg ulcer or pressure sore than women who did not use HRT.

David Margolis comments: "We have shown that HRT users older than 65 years are about 30--40% less likely to develop a venous leg ulcer or a pressure ulcer than non-users. We view this finding as early evidence that HRT could have a beneficial effect in preventing chronic wounds."

Contact: Dr David Margolis, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Room 815 Blockley Hall, 423 Guardian Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA; T) +1 215 898 4938; F) +1 215 573 5315; E) dmargoli@cceb.med.upenn.edu











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