Effect of hormone replacement therapy on cardiovascular disease: current opinion

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 May;4(5):667-74. doi: 10.1517/14656566.4.5.667.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasingly being recognised as having a profound effect on women, especially after menopause. Lack of oestrogen has been targeted as one of the reasons for increased incidence of CVD in postmenopausal women. Oestrogen has been found to have favourable effects on lipid profile, tone of vascular smooth muscle cells and fibrinogen levels. Several observational studies have supported these experimental findings, consistently demonstrating reduced cardiovascular risks in users of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). However, evidence from recent clinical trials has challenged this widespread belief. Heart and Estrogen/Progesterone Replacement Study II, Estrogen Replacement and Atherosclerosis trial and more recently, Women's Health Initiative, have shown that HRT has no role in primary and secondary prevention of CVD and most authorities currently do not advocate HRT for the prevention of CVD.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Postmenopause