Hormone Replacement Therapy and Cardiovascular Risk
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- Chong, AY. & Lip, G.Y.H. Mol Diag Ther (2002) 1: 95. doi:10.2165/00024677-200201020-00003
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Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is effective in suppressing postmenopausal symptoms and, in the past, many have claimed that it is cardioprotective. It was thought that the lower incidence of cardiovascular disease in premenopausal women was related to the cardioprotective effect of estrogen. Many of these studies were, however, observational studies. HRT alters many cardiovascular parameters, most beneficially. The mixed effect on these parameters make the overall result on cardiovascular risk difficult to predict.
However, recent randomized, placebo-controlled trials have shown not only that HRT does not confer cardioprotection, but that it actually increases one’s cardiovascular risk in the short term. Based on the current evidence, HRT should not be recommended in the hope that it will protect postmenopausal women against coronary heart disease.