Background: Hormone replacement therapy (HT) for post-menopausal women is associated with increased incidence of ischemic stroke risk. Effects of HT on stroke related deficits and functional outcomes in acute ischemic stroke (AIS) are uncertain. We retrospectively examined female consult data for HT use and National Institutes of Health Stroke Score (NIHSS) at baseline and recovery for 2015 and 2016 in a large stroke telemedicine program.
Hypothesis: The age of women who acknowledged HT use will negatively impact stroke severity and outcomes.
Methods: We analyzed consult data from two consecutive years for all women and included HT use, current age, and baseline and 24 h NIHSS's. We included all women consults regardless of IV Alteplase treatment. 24 h NIHSS and three month modified Rankin scale (mRS) were included from women given IV Alteplase.
Results: Strokes were identified in 523 women and 244 women received Alteplase therapy. Women without HT use numbered 459 and 64 women listed HT use. Mean NIHSS scores regardless of HT use significantly improved 24 h NIHSS vs. baseline NIHSS (p<0.0001). Baseline NIHSS scores were significantly improved in women on HT vs. non-HT users (p=0.01) in women age 50 to 79 years. Although mean NIHSS scores at 24h was not different from HT to no HT use (4.9 ± 1.6 vs. 7.8 ± 0.6, p=0.08) a trend was present for lower NIHSS scores for women 50-79 years. The mRS scores at three months indicated significant improvements among HT users vs. non-HT use (1.46 ± 0.4 vs. 2.51 ± 0.2, p=0.05).
Conclusion: While cautions persist on the use, route and dosage of HT for risks of ischemic stroke, the HT moderation of AIS deficits and outcomes in women <80 years of age warrants further investigation.
Keywords: Hormone replacement therapy; Stroke; Telestroke; Women.