There's reassuring news for women considering short-term use of hormones to relieve hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
A new study finds that starting low-dose treatment early in menopause made women feel better and did not seem to raise heart risks.
But the four years of research does not address the risk of breast cancer.
The new study was too small and too short for that.
The advice remains the same: Use hormones at the lowest dose for the shortest time possible, and only for severe symptoms -- not to prevent bone loss or aging-related problems.
Study leader Dr. JoAnn Manson of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston says the benefits outweigh the risks when hormone therapy is used short-term to manage symptoms of menopause.
She'll discuss her study results at Wednesday's conference of the North American Menopause Society in Orlando, Fla.