An influential study that led UK regulators to relax their opposition to HRT (hormone replacement therapy) was written by a researcher who had been recruited by a major HRT manufacturer.
A new study by Dr Lila Nachtigall of New York`s Women`s Wellness Centre has concluded that HRT is safe, and that earlier studies that linked the therapy to heart disease, and breast, ovarian and womb cancers had over-stated the risks.
Her research helped influence the UK`s NICE (National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence) decision to relax their stand on HRT and to put the therapy back on the table as an option for menopausal women.
But Dr Nachtigall didn`t reveal that she had been recruited by HRT manufacturer Wyeth in 1999 to put her name to an article that extolled the benefits of the therapy. Her involvement was reviewed by a US Congress hearing in 2008.
Wyeth, which manufactured top HRT treatment Prempro, has since been taken over by Pfizer.
In her latest stud which tracked 80 women for 10 years Dr Nachtigall concluded that HRT was safe. The study was presented to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
It`s now clear that women on HRT over many years can enjoy benefits. The risks of HRT have definitely been overstated. The benefits outweigh the risks, she said.
(Sources: NICE website; Daily Telegraph, October 19, 2015; New York Times, December 12, 2008)