Until now there have been no clinical studies investigating the relationship between heart disease and hormone replacement therapy use but 'The Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study' is the first of its kind to access this treatment.
'The Heart and Estrogen and Progestin Replacement Study' consisted of the assessment of 2763 postmenopausal women over a period of 4.1 years. Half the women involved were given hormone replacement therapy while the other half were given a placebo pill.
The researchers found very little difference in the results of the two groups. The likelihood of the postmenopausal women suffering from coronary heart disease while taking hormone replacement therapy was very similar to the risk to those taking the placebo. However, it is in the break up of risk over time that the problems with hormone replacement therapy become apparent. In the first year of consumption, the postmenopausal women taking hormone replacement therapy were at a much higher risk of suffering from heart disease than those women who were not.
The results of this study differ greatly from those obtained from observational studies which have been conducted with postmenopausal women in the past. The differences between such studies are difficult to explain but researchers are keen to stress that the ambiguity of these results highlight the problems which can occur when hormone replacement therapy is prescribed to postmenopausal women.
As this research demonstrates hormone replacement therapy is still a very ambiguous treatment for the postmenopausal condition and more research needs to be undertaken in order to find definitive lists of the benefits and risks associated with hormone replacement therapy use. Women who are interested in using hormone replacement therapy should consult their doctor or a medical professional in order to assess the risks which come with hormone replacement therapy and decide whether or not this treatment is right for them.