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Menopause. 2009 Jul-Aug;16(4):639-43. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31819c11e4.

Hot flushes, coronary heart disease, and hormone therapy in postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.



The aim of this study was to examine interactions between hot flushes, estrogen plus progestogen therapy (EPT), and coronary heart disease (CHD) events in postmenopausal women with CHD.


We analyzed data from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 0.625 mg conjugated equine estrogens plus 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate in 2,763 postmenopausal women with CHD. Hot flushes were assessed at baseline using self-administered questionnaires; women reporting bothersome hot flushes "some" to "all" of the time were considered to have clinically significant flushing. Cox regression models were used to examine the effect of EPT on risk of CHD events among women with and without significant flushing at baseline.


The mean age of participants was 66.7 +/- 6.8 years, and 89% (n = 2,448) were white. Sixteen percent (n = 434) of participants reported clinically significant hot flushes at baseline. Among women with baseline flushing, EPT increased risk of CHD events nine-fold in the first year compared with placebo (hazard ratio = 9.01; 95% CI, 1.15-70.35); among women without baseline flushing, treatment did not significantly affect CHD event risk in the first year (hazard ratio = 1.32; 95% CI, 0.86-2.03; P = 0.07 for interaction of hot flushes with treatment). The trend toward differential effects of EPT on risk for CHD among women with and without baseline flushing did not persist after the first year of treatment.


Among older postmenopausal women with CHD, EPT may increase risk of CHD events substantially in the first year of treatment among women with clinically significant hot flushes but not among those without hot flushes.

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