Study compares two commonly used estrogen drugs and cardiovascular safety

The oral hormone therapy conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs), which is used by women to relieve menopause symptoms, appears to be associated with increased risk for venous thrombosis (VT, blood clots) and possibly myocardial infarction (heart attack), but not ischemic stroke risk, when compared with the hormone therapy oral estradiol, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers compared the of the two commonly used oral estrogen medications because little is known about the cardiovascular safety of these hormone therapy (HT) products, according to the study background. CEES are manufactured from the urine of pregnant mares and estradiol is a "natural" or "bioequivalent" estrogen, according to the study.

The study by Nicholas L. Smith, Ph.D., of the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues included 384 postmenopausal ages 30 to 79, who were using oral and were members of the Group Health Cooperative, a large health maintenance organization in Washington.

Researchers identified 68 women who had an incident VT, 67 women who had a heart attack and 48 women who had an , along with 201 control patients who were current users of CEEs or estradiol between January 2003 and December 2009.

The study findings indicate a greater risk of VT associated with the use of CEEs compared with estradiol, an increased risk of that did not reach statistical significance and no increase in ischemic stroke risk.

"The findings of this comparative safety investigation need replication," the authors write. "If confirmed, the results would provide valuable information to women and their health care professionals when making safety decisions regarding available HT options for menopausal symptom management."

More information: JAMA Intern Med. Published online September 23, 2013. DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.11074

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

VTE risk varies by hormone therapy formulation

Sep 18, 2012

(HealthDay)—The risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in postmenopausal women differs considerably according to the formulation of hormone therapy (HT) used, with the highest VTE risk seen in users of oral ...

ACOG: Hormone therapy not recommended to prevent CHD

May 24, 2013

(HealthDay)—Menopausal hormone therapy should not be used for prevention of coronary heart disease, according to a Committee Opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) published ...

Recommended for you

Adrenal sex hormone level may predict heart disease risk

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Blood levels of the adrenal sex hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEA-S) may predict an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in elderly men, according to a study ...

Researchers aim to simplify life saving drug

Oct 29, 2014

Heparin, the life saving blood thinner used in major surgeries and treatment of heart diseases, is a complicated drug but a research team from the University of British Columbia has set out to make its use a lot safer by ...

Frequent readmissions, high costs after cardiac arrest

Oct 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—Frequent readmissions and high inpatient costs are seen among older survivors of in-hospital cardiac arrest, according to a study published online Oct. 28 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality an ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.