SVS: HRT May Reduce Risk of Peripheral Arterial Disease

Significant reduction also seen for postmenopausal women with atherosclerosis risk factors

FRIDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may significantly reduce the prevalence of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in postmenopausal women, even in women with known atherosclerotic risk factors, according to a study presented at the Society for Vascular Surgery's 2011 Vascular Annual Meeting, held from June 16 to 18 in Chicago.

Caron B. Rockman, M.D., from the New York University Medical School in New York City, and colleagues analyzed the association between HRT use and the prevalence of PAD in 847,982 postmenopausal women, 433,178 of who reported using HRT in a self-administered questionnaire.

The investigators found that, compared to women who did not take HRT, women using HRT were slightly older (64.7 versus 64.3 years) and were significantly more likely to be Caucasian, cigarette-smokers, hypertensive, and have hypercholesterolemia; however, they were significantly less likely to have diabetes. Women using HRT were significantly less likely to have PAD, compared to women who did not use HRT (3.3 versus 4.1 percent). The independent association between HRT and decreased risk of PAD was confirmed on multivariate analysis (odds ratio, 0.8). This association remained even in postmenopausal women with existing risk factors such as smoking history, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, or diabetes.

"These data have important implications with regard to a possible protective effect of HRT on atherosclerotic conditions, particularly in patients at higher risk for these conditions due to medical comorbidities," the authors write.

Abstract No. SS17
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