The landmark research study about women on hormones (non-bioidentical) continues to be analyzed from every angle because its results were life changing for many. This week, the National Institues of Health released additional data that states postmenopausal women who take a combination hormone therapy have an increased risk of heart disease. The combination is that of conjugated equine estrogen and progestin (medroxyprogesterone acetate) both of which are synthetic hormones.
The study was stopped in 2002 because of the increased risk of breast cancer in addition to stroke and dangerous blood clots. Researchers found that women on combination hormone therapy were about 2.4 times more likely to develop heart disease in the first two years. At eight years, the women on combination hormone therapy were 69 percent more likely to develop heart disease. Even worse, women who started hormones ten years after menopause were almost three times more likely to develop heart disease in the first two years. All of these statistics were on otherwise healthy individuals.
It was made very clear by researchers, combination synthetic estrogen and progestin should not be used for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
This information is very important to women considering synthetic hormone therapy as cardiovascular disease is already a huge concern on its own. According to the American Heart Association, coronary artery disease (which causes heart attack) is the number one killer of American women. In fact, nearly twice as many women die from heart disease as from all forms of cancer which includes breast cancer! Yet many more women are very afraid of the ‘C’ word (that’s cancer not cardiovascular).
Controllable risk factors for heart disease include whether or not you choose synthetic hormones, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, obesity/overweight, and lack of physical exercise.
Talk with your health care provider about your cardiovascular risks and do all that you can to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar in optimal ranges.