Combined Hormone Replacement Therapy Does Not Protect Women Against the Age-Related Decline in Endothelium-Dependent Vasomotor Function

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Abstract

Background

Improvement in endothelial function may be an important mechanism by which estrogen replacement therapy protects postmenopausal women against coronary artery disease. However, combined hormone replacement therapy is more frequently used owing to the risk of uterine cancer with estrogen-only therapy. Concurrent progesterone treatment may attenuate the beneficial effects of estrogens not only on the lipid profile but also on the endothelium.

Conclusions

Long-term combined oral hormone replacement therapy is without beneficial effects on endothelial vasomotor function in healthy postmenopausal women. This supports the view that progesterone may attenuate the beneficial effects of unopposed estrogen replacement. (Circulation. 1998;97:1234-1238.)

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