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J Intern Med. 2001 Dec;250(6):508-15.

Combined hormone replacement therapy improves endothelial function in healthy postmenopausal women.

Author information

1
Department of Angiology, University Medical Centre, Ljubljana, Slovenia. barbara.guzic@trnovo.kclj.si

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Large scale epidemiological studies suggest that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) reduces cardiovascular events in postmenopausal women. Improvement in endothelial function may contribute to this protective effect.

DESIGN:

In a prospective, double blind study, 61 healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to receive either oral continuous combined HRT [oestradiol 2 mg and norethisterone acetate (NETA) 1 mg per day] or placebo. Endothelial function, assessed by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) of the brachial artery and expression of soluble endothelial cell adhesion molecules (CAM) were determined before, after 3 and 6 months of therapy.

RESULTS:

The FMD was significantly improved in women on combined HRT (from 5.97% to 10.94% after 3 months and to 10.58% after 6 months; both P < 0.01 versus baseline values) and did not change in the placebo group (6.92% at baseline, 5.86% after 3 and 6.26% after 6 months). After 3 months of combined HRT, significant decreases of 24.6% for E-selectin and 13.9% for intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were observed (both P < 0.01 versus baseline values) and were sustained after 6 months of therapy, whilst no differences emerged in the placebo group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Oestradiol and norethisterone acetate improve endothelial function by both enhancing FMD and reducing the levels of soluble E-selectin and ICAM-1 in healthy postmenopausal women.

PMID:
11902819
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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