I am 2-days post my delivery due date and, as evident from my recent blogs, have pregnancy on my mind. But, a huge part of my practice is working with Perimenopausal and Menopausal woman and I am always keeping up with the latest research on women, aging and hormones.
A lot of fear surrounds hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) published their findings in 2002. My patients are on bioidentical hormones and understand that there is a big difference between bioidentical hormones and the synthetic hormones studied in the WHI study. That being said, it would be irresponsible to dismiss the WHI findings which originally suggested that there was an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in HRT users containing synthetic estrogens and a synthetic progestin. However, a more recent and detailed analysis of the WHI data has since shown that this is not the case. In fact, when HRT is started around the time of menopause there may even be protection of cardiovascular disease. This finding is receiving very little publicity yet it negates a huge concern about HRT use.
Here is what the recent analysis shows:
- Hormone Replacement Therapy in women aged 50-59 years does not increase the risk of CHD in healthy women and may even decrease the risk in this age group.
- In the WHI study, estrogen-alone therapy in the age group 50-59 was associated with less coronary calcification.
- The number of CHD events decreased with duration of HRT.
These finding were reported in the recent edition of Climacteric.