Timing HRT Likely To Help Women Protect Their Heart During Menopause

A new study has found that although researchers know that menopause affects heart, changes begin taking place in several years which leads to this stage. The findings of the study can possibly change the way doctors put patients on therapy of hormone replacement. The older woman gets, the more she is likely to develop heart disease. However, the risk increases during menopause, which is the highest killer of women in America. Experts said that a drop in estrogen levels leads to this condition as the hormone helps arteries to function properly. HRT is a method to treat those symptoms that decline in estrogen levels causes, but fears surrounding the treatment haven’t subsided since old times when researchers had earlier suggested that it is associated to cancer and heart disease. AHA (American Heart Association) cautions against this therapy for reducing the coronary heart disease risk.

A study of JAMA in 2017 found that people who were on HRT tablets weren’t more likely to succumb to cancer, cardiovascular disease, or other cause in 18 years as compared to women who weren’t on the tablets. In spite of this, people are reluctant in trying this treatment. New findings also found that HRT might protect the heart, but not in case where women take them after menopause as what is seen as a current trend. A new study in ACtaPhysiologica, focuses on the condition of the heart during years leading to menopause which is called perimenopause. Earlier researchers studied postmenopausal or menopausal hearts as they weren’t able to replicate the perimenopausal phase in mice. Today an animal model of lab is there in which scientists can fail the mouse’s ovaries slowly over time for mimicking the slow transition to menopause in women.

When a group of mice got into menopause over 4 months, their hearts looked normal and functioned the same way but stress seemed to appear. Then they were given drugs that would mimic estrogen during perimenopuase. When examined, their hearts responded to estrogen and researchers found slight variations in the heart. Prof Glen Pyle, a senior author said that offering HRT much earlier can be a protective treatment instead of offering it after menopause.