Hormone Therapy and Stroke – 10 year Study Report

ABSTRACT Principal findings on stroke from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)clinical trials of hormone therapy indicate that estrogen, alone or with a progesterone, increases a woman’s risk of stroke. These results were not unexpected, and research during the past decade has tended to support these findings. Consistent evidence from clinical trials and observational research indicates that standard-dose hormone therapy increases stroke risk for post menopausal women by about one-third; increased risk may be limited to ischemic stroke. Risk is not modified by age of hormone initiation or use, or by temporal proximity to menopause, and risk is similar for estrogen plus progesterone and for unopposed estrogen. Limited evidence implies that lower doses of transdermal estradiol (≤50 μg/day) may not alter stroke risk. For women less than 60 years of age, the absolute risk of stroke from standard-dose hormone therapy is rare, about two additional strokes per 10 000 person-years of use; the absolute risk is considerably greater for older women. Other hormonal active compounds – including raloxifene, tamoxifen, and tibolone – can also affect stroke risk.


Gompel A, Santen RJ; Climacteric 15 (3), 241-9 (Jun 2012)

  • Climatric Journal of Medicine

In a study trail over two thousand and five hundred women aged 45 to 84 researchers found that women who had early menopause before the age 46 were more than twice at risk of heart attack and stroke. It is due to lessening in natural supply of oestrogen at earlier stage than it would normally happen at the menopause.

According to researchers’ oestrogen protects women against heart disease. The average age for menopause is fifty-one years. It is expected that around one in five women undergo hysterectomybefore the age of fifty-two that can cause an early menopause though their ovaries are retained.

It is vital for women to know that early menopause is a possible riskfactor for cardiovascular diseases. They can work harder to improve their adjustable risk factors such as blood pressure and high cholesterol by exercising and following healthy diet, said Dr Melissa Wellons from the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

The study presented at The Endocrine Society’s meeting in San Diego found that no women had heart attack or stroke before the age of fifty-five. After that, women who had early menopause had twice likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease than those who had not.


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