Ten years ago, millions of women stopped taking hormone replacement therapy after the Women’s Health Initiative clinical trial showed that the treatment put them at risk for breast cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. Now with additional research, medical experts are reassessing the risks and benefits and recommending a more reasonable individualized approach to taking hormones, writes Erin Wayman in our cover story on the controversy (page 22).
An eye-opening related story is The Endocrine Society and Hormone Health Network’s recent surveys of women and doctors about menopause. The results show that a majority of women are suffering menopausal symptoms but are receiving no treatment. Many of the women know little about hormone therapy and are confused about their options, but most are not talking openly to their health providers about menopause problems (page 30).
The U.S. Presidential election is just days away, and much is at stake when it comes to health care. The cost of medical treatment continues to rise, and many Americans have no health insurance. With the Republicans vowing to rescind the Democrats’ new Affordable Care Act, Washington, D.C.–based writer Sarah Zielinski sheds light on some of the hot-button issues (page 44).
Although some scientists debate whether or not jellyfish are really taking over the oceans, others are exploring ways these beach menaces can serve humankind. In the last decades, according to writer Aleta George, who was recently mesmerized by the creatures’ water ballet at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, jellies have become the basis of important medical science and research (page 62).
Marian Smith Holmes