HRT and cardiovascular disease

J Epidemiol Biostat. 1999;4(3):165-90.


Conclusions influencing clinical decisions about the effects of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) on cardiovascular disease have undergone major revisions over the last 30 years. Assumptions in the early 1970s that HRT would increase thromboembolic conditions were reversed in the 1980s, when the first formal studies seemed to indicate a cardioprotective effect. The Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS) has, however, very recently suggested that HRT does not affect the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) one way or the other. These roller-coaster changes of direction have made decisions by doctors and their patients about the long-term use of HRT extremely difficult and need to be replaced by the stability that only further randomised controlled trials (RCTs) can now provide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cause of Death
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / adverse effects
  • Estrogen Replacement Therapy / methods*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors
  • Thromboembolism / chemically induced
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome