07.19.133:50 PM ET

Dying for Estrogen

Post-hysterectomy women who don’t take hormone-replacement therapy may be dying prematurely.

New evidence shows that almost 50,000 women who were not treated with estrogen after receiving hysterectomies have died prematurely. Hormone replacement has decreased in popularity since a 2002 study linked two-hormone therapy with adverse effects and death. Before 2002, 90 percent of women who had hysterectomies used estrogen therapy for around five years. Today, fewer than a third use it, despite further studies from 2004 and 2011 proving its benefits. The new study, by Yale University researchers, urges health-care providers to impress the risk of early death upon women who remove their uteruses but do not take hormones.