News in brief from the world of cardiology
It’s not what you take but the way that you take it that can produce different results in women who take hormone replacement therapy (HRT), according to new research published online in the European Heart Journal (doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehn408).
The observational study of 698,098 healthy Danish women, aged 51-69, found that overall there was no increased risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in current users of HRT compared to women who had never taken it.
However, it did find that in younger women (aged 51-54) who were taking HRT during the period of the study, their risk of MI was about a quarter (24%) more than in women who had never taken HRT. In addition, in younger women there was an increasing risk with longer duration of HRT, which was not seen in the older age groups.
The study also found that the type of HRT and the way that the women took it made a difference to the risk of MI. Continuous HRT carried a 35% increased risk of MI compared with women who had never used HRT. But if HRT was taken on a cyclical basis, there was a tendency for these women to have a reduced risk of MI compared to women who had never used HRT, and this was also seen if a synthetic hormone, tibolone, was used. If the method of taking the oestrogen was via a patch or gel on the skin or in the vagina, the risk of MI was reduced by more than a third.