Menopause Hormone Replacement Therapy reduced Heart Failure and Heart Attack Risk

Stethoscope - BSN

(Best Syndication News) - A study found that women who took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for ten years had a reduced risk for heart failure and heart attack compared to women who did not take the therapy. The positive effects of taking HRT therapy appears to be a reduction in cardiovascular disease, but on the negative side, there is an increased risk for developing breast cancer. The new study suggests that the cardiovascular benefits are present without having an increased risk for cancer, deep vein thrombosis, or stroke.

The randomized trial-study was conducted in Denmark over a ten-year period. The researchers had followed-up after an additional six years to assess if HRT reduced heart disease risk if therapy started soon after menopause.

There were 1006 women with 504 assigned to the HRT group and 502 in the non-HRT group. The women were all white, healthy, and had been recently menopausal between 45-58 years of age at the start of the study. They included women who had a hysterectomy, but only if was done between 45-52 years of age. They excluded the women if they had a history of bone disease, uncontrolled chronic disease, prior or current cancer, or current or previous HRT in the last three months. They also excluded them if they had alcohol or drug addiction.

The information came from the Danish Civil Registration System and National Hospital Discharge Register.

After 10 years, the women taking the HRT were asked to stop taking the therapy because of studies that suggested health risks. There were 15 deaths in the HRT group taking HRT and 16 deaths or hospitalizations for cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or heart failure. The group who did not take HRT had 26 deaths and 33 where hospitalized for a cardiovascular event.

The extended six-year follow-up showed that the non-HRT group had 53 associated events; there were 40 deaths, 8 heart failures, and 5 heart attacks. Comparatively, the HRT group had 27 deaths, 3 heart failures, and 3 heart attacks. The non-HRT group had 23 of the deaths related to cardiovascular events, and 17 deaths unrelated to the heart. The HRT group had 6 deaths from cardiovascular causes, and 21 deaths from other causes.

The HRT women who had a hysterectomy and younger women had a significant reduction in death from breast cancer.

The researchers suggest that HRT started early after menopause could reduce the risk of death from heart failure and heart attack. The risk for cancer, venous thromboembolisms (DVT), or stroke does not seem to be at an increased risk for hormone replacement therapy. They caution that more time may be needed to make a clear-cut conclusion on HRT.

By: Marsha Quinn
Health Reporter

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