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A doctor defends her use of 'bioidentical' hormone therapy: 'I welcome having my work reviewed by my colleagues'

A doctor defends her use of 'bioidentical' hormone therapy: 'I welcome having my work reviewed by my colleagues'
A screenshot of an interview given by Santa Monica physician Dr. Prudence Hall for an Oprah Winfrey Network program. (Oprah Winfrey Network / Kaiser Health News)

To the editor: As a physician I have devoted my entire career to helping patients achieve optimal health and wellness regardless of gender or celebrity. I was disappointed that the L.A. Times would pick up an article about me earlier published by People Magazine. This report contained unfair and misleading statements about my practice, particularly the established use of bioidentical hormone therapy.

I have been a physician and surgeon for more than 35 years. I received my degree from USC’s Keck School of Medicine and completed my residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center, after which I joined the staff of UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital as an OB-GYN surgeon.

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The approach I use is strongly supported by clinical studies. One such example is a 2017 study by doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center that looked at 4,200 women from 1998-2012. The study concluded that women using hormone replacement therapy were 30% less likely to die of cardiovascular heart disease, and 20% more likely to have a coronary calcium score of zero. Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in women.

My work involves the treatment of menopause and perimenopause using lifestyle interventions, supplements and Food and Drug Administration-approved hormones based on a woman’s biochemical requirements. In treating my patients, I follow strict medical guidelines. I don’t make any diagnosis alone; in fact, I normally submit scans to several board-certified radiologists.

The events underlying the settlement I reached with the state medical board date back to 2015, and I entered into the settlement to bring an end to the time-consuming legal process and so I could focus on my patients. I welcome having my work reviewed by my colleagues.

Prudence Hall, MD, Santa Monica

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