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Sybil Crawford receives 2020 Best Paper Award from North American Menopause Society

Study concluded some menopausal women may miss out on benefits of hormone replacement therapy

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

August 19, 2020
 
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Sybil Crawford, PhD

UMass Medical School women’s health researcher Sybil Crawford, PhD, has received the 2020 North American Menopause Society/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Menopause Journal Best Paper Award. Dr. Crawford, professor of medicine, is lead author of the study, published in the June 2019 issue of Menopause, which found that many women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms could benefit from hormone therapy with minimal health risks.

Crawford and co-authors revisited the recommendations made in 2002 by the historic Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) in light of subsequent research that has led to updated guidelines.

Use of hormone therapy plummeted nearly 20 years ago, when the WHI found that such therapy could increase the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. But subsequent research involving women who are younger and earlier in the menopausal transition show they have less risk than the older women initially studied, and recent WHI findings indicate no difference in deaths from all causes between women who did and did not use hormone therapy.

“The pendulum is starting to swing back a bit,” said Crawford. “The emphasis is on tailoring treatment to an individual woman’s needs and health conditions as recommended by various clinical groups, including the North American Menopause Society.”

Crawford is a co-investigator for the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), which funded the research. SWAN examines the physical, biological, psychological and social changes women experience during their transitional middle years to understand how those affect health and quality of life during aging.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
UMMS study finds some women may be missing out on benefits of menopausal hormone therapy