Once and for all: Hormone replacement is good for women

From The L.A. Times:  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-bluming-tavris-hormone-replacement-therapy-20190131-story.html

By Avrum Bluming and Carol Tavris
Jan 31, 2019

Over its long history, hormone replacement therapy for women in menopause has been the Jekyll and Hyde of medications. It has careened from savior to villain, from cure-all for every female complaint to poison. And when in 2002, the National Institutes of Health-funded, $1-billion Women’s Health Initiative loudly announced that women taking HRT had an increased risk of breast cancer, its role as “savior” all but disappeared. Other dire alleged consequences included heart disease, stroke, dementia and even “all-cause mortality.”

Understandably, millions of women panicked, along with much of the medical establishment, and dropped the option of hormone therapy altogether. (Estrogen is given by itself to women who have had hysterectomies and, as HRT, in combination with progesterone to those who still have a uterus.)

The good news about estrogen has been lost: namely that more than 70 years of findings from animal studies, human studies, observational studies and randomized controlled studies demonstrate the benefits of estrogen. Most remarkably, the research shows the failure of the accepted hypothesis that estrogen causes breast cancer. In fact, estrogen has been successfully used as a treatment for women with the disease, and, remarkably, it can often be safely administered to most women who have had breast cancer.

Women on hormone replacement therapy live, on average, several years longer than those not taking it.

Heart disease, not cancer, is the leading cause of death for women in every decade of their lives (it is even the leading cause of death for breast cancer survivors). Hormone replacement therapy can decrease that risk by 30% to 50%. It can also cut in half the risk of osteoporotic hip fracture — a crucial benefit because as many older women die annually after breaking a hip as die of breast cancer. And numerous animal and human studies indicate that estrogen is the only intervention that prevents or reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in women.

HRT is the most effective treatment for familiar menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, vaginal dryness and loss of sexual desire, and for the less familiar symptoms: heart palpitations, joint and muscle aches, headaches, bladder problems and depression. Forget the black cohosh and chaste tree; they are no better than placebos.

Finally, because of estrogen’s benefits for heart, brain and bones, women on hormone replacement therapy live, on average, several years longer than those not taking it. This is one reason that the North American Menopause Society and 30 other international groups concluded that “there are no data to support routine discontinuation [of HRT] in women age 65 years.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-bluming-tavris-hormone-replacement-therapy-20190131-story.html

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How Prohibition Fueled the Klan

All of the below applies to “Reefer Madness” Anti-Jazz, Anti-Rock and Roll, Anti-LGBT, War on Drugs, Crack Crisis, Opiod Crisis and Gun Control.

All of the above are aimed at controlling minorities and the lower classes. The main benificiaries are the wealthy in the Law/Criminal Justice Prison Industrial Complex.

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/prohibition-immigration-klan.html

The 1920s weren’t just gin joints and jazz. Anti-immigrant racism was all the rage.

By Lisa McGirr
Jan. 16, 2019

On Jan. 16, 1919, Nebraska became the 36th state to ratify the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which banned the manufacture, sale, import or transportation of intoxicating liquors. The Prohibition era had begun.

Prohibition looms large in the national imagination even today as the era of gangsters and gin joints. Less often do we reflect on what motivated the country to adopt it and maintain it for 14 years. While the country faced a real problem of excessive drinking, powerful anti-immigrant hostility is what drove this monumental act of constitutional overreach.

Today, as we find ourselves in the midst of another fight over immigration, it is worth revisiting the role that nativism played in driving, and later enforcing, Prohibition. The consequences of that battle reverberated for decades to come. It sparked a vast expansion of the repressive capacities of the federal government and a rise of right-wing extremism, led by a revived Ku Klux Klan. It also forged a new political coalition that would bring ethnic working-class voters into the Democratic Party, where they would remain for much of the century.

Temperance and Prohibition had been popular causes throughout the 19th century, but supporters didn’t reach a critical mass until the era of mass immigration at the turn of the century. With more than a million men and women coming to the United States in 1907 alone, anti-liquor crusaders railed against a “foreign invasion of undeveloped races.” The boisterous drinking culture of the ubiquitous working-class saloon, dominated by immigrant men, seemed to make manifest the dangers mass immigration posed to a white native Protestant American way of life.

During World War I, the Anti-Saloon League, the self-declared Protestant Church in action, fanned nativist flames: With the large brewing companies in the hands of German immigrants, the league declared the abolition of “the un-American,” “home wrecking, treasonable liquor traffic” the most patriotic act. Congress concurred, sending the 18th Amendment to the states on Dec. 22, 1917.

Ratification sped through the states in record time, stunning its ecstatic supporters: “The rain of tears is over. … Hell will be forever for rent,” the flamboyant evangelical preacher Billy Sunday proclaimed. The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the powerful grass-roots female reform organization at the core of the anti-liquor crusade, raised an American flag at its campaign headquarters in Evanston, Ill. Church bells rang at many Protestant churches in celebration of “Uncle Sam’s knockout blow … that set John Barleycorn and all his cohorts to the mat.”

The utopian hopes of Billy Sunday and his ilk that the 18th Amendment would turn “our prisons into factories” quickly evaporated. The vast and powerful federal agencies in charge of policing Prohibition as of January, 1920, along with state and local enforcement, overcrowded court dockets, changed legal doctrine and flooded prisons, but they did little to meet Prohibitionists’ almost impossible ambitions.

Newly hired and poorly trained Prohibition agents, along with local and state police, targeted violators at the margins, but they lacked the capacity, and at times the will, to go after powerful crime kingpins. Chicago’s Al Capone, Ohio’s George Remus, New York’s Arnold Rothstein and Seattle’s Roy Olmstead amassed large fortunes in the profitable illicit drink trade, oiling their violent supply rings with payoffs to judges, senators and officers on the beat.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/16/opinion/prohibition-immigration-klan.html

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