Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The timing of hormone replacement therapy could be key to success

03.03.2003


The timing of treatment may be a key factor in whether hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can slow heart vessel disease, report researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and Tufts-New England Medical Center in the winter issue of Menopausal Medicine.



"Mounting evidence points to the conclusion that HRT can help prevent heart vessel disease – if the therapy begins around the time that the body stops making its own estrogen," said Thomas B. Clarkson, D.V.M., of Wake Forest. "The question may not be if estrogen helps, but when is the optimum time to begin therapy."

Clarkson, a professor of comparative medicine, and Richard H. Karas, M.D., Ph.D., director of the preventive cardiology center at Tufts, reviewed numerous studies of postmenopausal women and monkeys that evaluated the cardiovascular effects of HRT.


Their evaluation included the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which showed an increased risk of heart attacks in women taking HRT and led to recommendations that women not begin hormone replacement therapy for the purpose of preventing heart disease. They also reviewed trials of postmenopausal monkeys conducted at Wake Forest over the past 12 years.

"The literature demonstrates that HRT has beneficial effects in inhibiting the early stages of heart vessel disease, but can have deleterious effects if initiated at older ages when some women have already developed disease," said Clarkson.

For years, doctors had prescribed hormone replacement therapy to prevent heart disease in postmenopausal women. These treatment decisions were based on observational studies showing that women who took estrogen had fewer heart attacks. But, these assumptions were called into question with studies such as WHI.

Clarkson and Karas said there are several possible explanations for the discordant findings between observational studies and WHI. "One of the most striking differences is the age of the patients being studied," they wrote. "In the observation studies, women began HRT at a relatively young age. WHI women, however, averaged 63 years old when therapy was begun."

Clarkson and Karas believe that the timing of HRT initiation significantly influences its potential for cardiovascular benefits or harm.

"When estrogen replacement was administered to monkeys at the onset of estrogen deficiency – which compares to the postmenopausal transition in women – there was a 70 percent inhibition of fatty build-up in the heart’s arteries. In contrast, when estrogen replacement was delayed for a period comparable to six years in women, there was no benefit on the heart’s arteries," they wrote.

Clarkson and Karas said the data they reviewed support their theory that HRT may be able to maintain vessel health when it is initiated in younger women without an advanced buildup of fatty deposits in their heart vessels. But, the treatment may be either ineffective or potentially harmful when it is given to older women with more advanced vessel disease.

"It is noteworthy that 70 percent of the women in the WHI were in the age groups that would be expected to experience deleterious effects of HRT, while only 10 percent were in the age groups that are likely benefited by HRT," they wrote.


###
Media Contacts: Karen Richardson, (336) 716-4453, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu

Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wfubmc.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Nanoparticles as a Solution against Antibiotic Resistance?
15.12.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests
14.12.2017 | Aalto University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technique could make captured carbon more valuable

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

A chip for environmental and health monitoring

15.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>