Development of low-dose reproductive hormone therapies in China

Gynecol Endocrinol. 2006 Nov;22(11):636-45. doi: 10.1080/09513590601005912.


A historical account is presented of the development of sex hormone treatment from its beginning at the Peking Union Medical College to its present-day generalization throughout China. The general theme of this work has been to test low-dose hormone regimens. Notable successes include low-dose oral contraception and menopausal hormone treatment. In support of the latter, we present a new clinical study of the effects of low-dose, intermittent, patient-metered hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which shows decreased menopausal symptoms, maintenance of bone health and height, and improved cardiovascular status compared with untreated controls. Cardiovascular testing, included carotid artery ultrasound scanning and computed tomographic coronary angiography, supports a cardioprotective effect of long-term (up to 31 years) low-dose HRT that is begun during the menopausal transition. These results highlight the urgent need for larger, prospective trials of long-term low-dose HRT started during the perimenopausal period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • China
  • Contraceptives, Oral / therapeutic use*
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Menopause / drug effects*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mifepristone / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Abortifacient Agents, Steroidal
  • Contraceptives, Oral
  • Mifepristone