The US Cardiovascular Arena - In Brief An Authoritative Round-up of Trends, Statistics and Clinical Research

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US Cardiology, 2006;3(1):12-3

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HRT Linked to Heart Attack Reduction in Women Under 60 Years

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could reduce heart attacks in women under the age of 60 by up to one-third.

A study, conducted by researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities, analyzed statistical data for over 39,000 women. It uncovered that, for women who began HRT treatment to relieve menopausal symptoms whilst in their 50s, the chance of cardiac death reduced significantly by over 32%compared witho those who received no treatment.

The study did note, however that, for women over the age of 60 years, results were not so conclusive. Indeed, for this age group, HRT increased the risk of heart attacks for the first year of treatment. After two years of treatment, however, the risk of heart attacks reduced below the level of women on either the placebo or on no treatment at all.

The results of this study further support a meta-analysis, conducted by the same researchers in 2004, that concluded 39% fewer deaths among woman who started HRT treatment prior to the age of 60 years, compared to those not on HRT treatment.

The Womens Health Initiative has previously reported a positive correlation between HRT treatment and the number of heart attacks. However, this research was based on a study group with a mean age of 63 years, and did not further examine age as a factor. These latest findings may prove important not only in indicating the cardiovascular benefits of HRT treatment in younger women, but also in helping to eradicate confusion among women, ignited by previous trial results.

American Heart Association Publishes New Diet and 'Lifestyle Guidelines

The American Heart Association (AHA) has released new lifestyle and dietary guidelines aimed at reducing risk of cardiovascular disease.

In the first major update of the guidelines since 2000, the AHA has introduced the term 'lifestyle, a move designed to cover factors such as smoking and physical activity into the equation in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

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