New research suggests patches or creams may be safer for women who use hormone therapy to relieve hot flashes and other menopause symptoms than pills.

The University of Calgary team examined health records of more than 112,000 women ages 45 and older who filled prescriptions for at least six months’ worth of estrogen-only hormone treatment between 2008 and 2019. They tracked which women went on to develop high blood pressure at least a year after starting treatment.

While the differences weren’t huge, women who took estrogen pills had a 14% higher risk of developing hypertension compared to those using skin patches or creams, the researchers reported.

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