Hormone therapy does not increase the risk of cancer, heart disease or premature death in menopausal women, a study finds.
Research into the benefits of hormone therapy was stopped early in the 90s when unexpected harms were found from using the drugs versus a dummy pill for five to seven years.
More breast cancer, heart attacks and strokes occurred in women on combined pills, and those on estrogen pills had more strokes.
But about 18 years of follow-up showed that despite those risks, women had similar rates of deaths from heart disease, breast cancer and all other causes as those who took dummy pills.
Experts said the hormone therapy is safe to use by women who are looking to relieve symptoms from menopause such as hot flashes.