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Climacteric. 2006 Apr;9(2):108-18.

The long-term impact of 2-3 years of hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular mortality and atherosclerosis in healthy women.

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1
Center for Clinical and Basic Research, Ballerup, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The effect of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on cardiovascular risk is intensely debated. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term effects of HRT given for a few years on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and the severity of atherosclerosis.

METHODS:

This analysis was based on a cohort of 1,458 postmenopausal women (55.8 +/- 6.1 years old) who previously participated in a number of randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trials assessing the efficacy of 2-3 years of therapy with various estrogen plus progestin combinations for preventing bone loss. Women were followed on average for 9.8 years and came for a follow-up visit. Outcome variables were all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and the severity of atherosclerosis, as estimated by semi-quantitative scoring of vascular calcification in the lumbar aorta on lateral radiographs.

RESULTS:

A total of 174 women died during the observation period. All-cause mortality was decreased by 30% in the HRT+ group compared with the HRT- group (hazard ratio (HR) 0.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50-0.97) after adjusting for age, body mass index and smoking. Under the same conditions, similar results characterized mortality from cardiovascular disease (n = 61 deaths; 35.1% of all deaths) and coronary heart disease (n = 39 deaths; 22.4% of all deaths), which were decreased by 46% (HR 0.54, 95% CI 0.29-0.98, p = 0.045) and 53% (HR 0.47, 95% CI 0.21-1.03, p = 0.062), respectively. Furthermore, the mean severity score of aortic calcification at follow-up was significantly lower in hormone-treated compared to non-treated women (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSION:

Women who receive 2-3 years of HRT after menopause do not have increased all-cause mortality, and results of the present study suggest relative cardiovascular benefits compared to those who had not used hormones.

PMID:
16698657
DOI:
10.1080/13697130600647743
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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