Menopause is defined as the cessation of a person’s menstrual cycle. It is defined retrospectively, 12 months after the final menstrual period. Perimenopause, or the menopausal transition, is the few-year time period preceding a person’s final menstrual period and is characterized by increasing menstrual cycle length variability and periods of amenorrhea, and often symptoms such as vasomotor dysfunction. The prevalence and incidence of most chronic diseases (eg, cardiovascular disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and fracture) increase with age, and US persons who reach menopause are expected on average to live more than another 30 years.
To update its 2017 recommendation, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) commissioned a systematic review to evaluate the benefits and harms of systemic (ie, oral or transdermal) hormone therapy for the prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal persons and whether outcomes vary by age or by timing of intervention after menopause.
Asymptomatic postmenopausal persons who are considering hormone therapy for the primary prevention of chronic medical conditions.
The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that the use of combined estrogen and progestin for the primary prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal persons with an intact uterus has no net benefit. The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that the use of estrogen alone for the primary prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal persons who have had a hysterectomy has no net benefit.
The USPSTF recommends against the use of combined estrogen and progestin for the primary prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal persons. (D recommendation) The USPSTF recommends against the use of estrogen alone for the primary prevention of chronic conditions in postmenopausal persons who have had a hysterectomy. (D recommendation)
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Corresponding Author: Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, 10940 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 700, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (email@example.com).
Accepted for Publication: September 26, 2022.
The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Members: Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH; Michael J. Barry, MD; Wanda K. Nicholson, MD, MPH, MBA; Michael Cabana, MD, MA, MPH; Aaron B. Caughey, MD, PhD; David Chelmow, MD; Tumaini Rucker Coker, MD, MBA; Esa M. Davis, MD, MPH; Katrina E. Donahue, MD, MPH; Carlos Roberto Jaén, MD, PhD, MS; Martha Kubik, PhD, RN; Li Li, MD, PhD, MPH; Gbenga Ogedegbe, MD, MPH; Lori Pbert, PhD; John M. Ruiz, PhD; James Stevermer, MD, MSPH; John B. Wong, MD.
Affiliations of The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Members: University of California, Los Angeles (Mangione); Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts (Barry); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Nicholson, Donahue); Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York (Cabana); Oregon Health & Science University, Portland (Caughey); Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (Chelmow); University of Washington, Seattle (Coker); University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Davis); The University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio (Jaén); George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia (Kubik); University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Li); New York University, New York, New York (Ogedegbe); University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester (Pbert); University of Arizona, Tucson (Ruiz); University of Missouri, Columbia (Stevermer); Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (Wong).
Author Contributions: Dr Mangione had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. The USPSTF members contributed equally to the recommendation statement.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Authors followed the policy regarding conflicts of interest described at https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Name/conflict-of-interest-disclosures. All members of the USPSTF receive travel reimbursement and an honorarium for participating in USPSTF meetings.
Funding/Support: The USPSTF is an independent, voluntary body. The US Congress mandates that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) support the operations of the USPSTF.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: AHRQ staff assisted in the following: development and review of the research plan, commission of the systematic evidence review from an Evidence-based Practice Center, coordination of expert review and public comment of the draft evidence report and draft recommendation statement, and the writing and preparation of the final recommendation statement and its submission for publication. AHRQ staff had no role in the approval of the final recommendation statement or the decision to submit for publication.
Disclaimer: Recommendations made by the USPSTF are independent of the US government. They should not be construed as an official position of AHRQ or the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Additional Contributions: We thank Howard Tracer, MD (AHRQ), who contributed to the writing of the manuscript, and Lisa Nicolella, MA (AHRQ), who assisted with coordination and editing.
Additional Information: The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services for patients without obvious related signs or symptoms. It bases its recommendations on the evidence of both the benefits and harms of the service and an assessment of the balance. The USPSTF does not consider the costs of providing a service in this assessment. The USPSTF recognizes that clinical decisions involve more considerations than evidence alone. Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decision-making to the specific patient or situation. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that policy and coverage decisions involve considerations in addition to the evidence of clinical benefits and harms. Published by JAMA®—Journal of the American Medical Association under arrangement with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). ©2022 AMA and United States Government, as represented by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), by assignment from the members of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). All rights reserved.
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