Adding Progestins May Negate Heart Protection From Estrogen Replacement Therapy

0 percent. However, in most cases, the women were taking estrogen alone.

The effect of ERT plus progestins has not been well researched, notes Vogel.

Estrogen protects against heart disease because of its "anti-aging" effects. However, the study results indicate that ERT plus progestins may still be protective against heart disease, but not because of ERT's anti-aging affects on the endothelium, say the authors.

The benefit of ERT plus progestins may come from its effects on cholesterol levels in the blood. Women taking ERT plus progestins did have lower total cholesterol levels and higher levels of the high-density lipoprotein, the "good" cholesterol, which helps blood vessels stay free of cholesterol buildup.

The scientists recommend that women should still consider ERT plus progestins as a treatment that confers protection against heart disease after menopause, a time when their risk of heart disease is as high as men. Attention should also be paid to lowering cholesterol, smoking cessation, diet and exercise.


NR 98-4883 (Circ/Sorensen)

Media advisory: Dr. Dorup and Dr. Sorensen can be reached by phone at 45-8949-6109. Dr. Vogel can be reached at (410) 328-8795. (Please do not publish telephone numbers.)


Contact: Brian Henry
American Heart Association

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