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Oestrogen, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease in women: Epidemiological studies on menopause and hormone replacement therapy

By I.C.D. Westendorp, D.E. Grobbee and J.C.M. Witteman

Abstract

What part menopause and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) play in the risk of cardiovascular disease in women after middle-age is still debated. The associations between menopause, HRT and cardiovascular disease as well as atherosclerosis were examined in a large cohort study. Our results suggest menopause has an unfavorable association with several cardiovascular risk factors, structural characteristics of the large arteries, on atherosclerosis and on coronary heart disease. HRT was shown to protect women from development of atherosclerosis in the lower extremities and in the common carotid artery. This suggests that the mechanisms underlying this protection include inhibition of the atherosclerotic process. Our analyses of a randomised, placebo-controlled study could not confirm the effect on HRT on atherosclerosis of the common carotid artery. As findings from large randomised trials do not confirm the benefit of estrogen therapy for prevention of cardiovascular disease no definite conclusions can be drawn, and HRT should not be recommended for this purpose in clinical practice

Topics: Review Articles
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2499640
Provided by: PubMed Central
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