HRT and Heart Disease: Recent Study Finds That Starting Hormone Therapy Early May Prevent Heart Disease
A new study from The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) provides more evidence that starting hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) by the time of menopause may help reduce a women’s risk of heart disease rather than raise her risk as concluded by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, now regarded as a poorly designed study.
The study from NEJM enrolled 643 healthy women and divided them into two groups. The first group was less than six years post menopause and those in the second group were more than 10 years post menopause. Both groups were randomly given either a placebo or estradiol (the main estrogen women lose at menopause).
Over five years follow-up, significantly less progression of atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries (a marker for heart disease) was found in the women who started HRT less than 6 years after menopause compared to those taking the placebo. The group of women who started HRT greater than 10 years after menopause showed no such benefit. Other studies have backed up this claim that post-menopausal women not on HRT are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Post-menopausal women have significantly greater volumes of fat around their hearts (a risk factor for heart disease) than their pre-menopausal counterparts, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study has shown for the first time.
This means that starting HRT within 6 years of menopause is heart protective! I believe women who are candidates should start HRT prior to menopause for the many other benefits it provides including breast health, bone density, memory, and more.
To Your Optimal Health, Laura Ellis MD
At medAge® we prescribe bio-identical HRT and carefully monitor our patients according to proven scientific data. Topical, oral and implantable methods of delivery are customized for each patient. Call us today for a consultation. Get control of your health!