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A cost-effectiveness analysis of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was undertaken to assess the relative benefits of different treatment strategies, and to identify which factors most influence cost-effectiveness. The current lack of conclusive evidence on the effects of HRT, especially in relation to combined therapy and cardiovascular disease, necessitated the use of a large number of assumptions in our model. In terms of net health benefits, the potential reduction in cardiovascular disease would have greatest impact, and would overshadow any small increase in breast cancer risk possibly associated with long-term use. Net expenditure by the NHS will depend critically on the direct costs of treatment, rather than on any indirect costs incurred or averted as a result of side-effects. In terms of cost-effectiveness, long-term prophylactic treatment of hysterectomised women and treatment of symptomatic women with a uterus compare favourably with other accepted health care interventions.

Original publication





Br Med Bull

Publication Date





368 - 400


Breast Neoplasms, Cardiovascular Diseases, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Models, Econometric, Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal, Risk Factors, State Medicine, United Kingdom