Richard R. Love, MD; Donald A. Wiebe, MD; Polly A. Newcomb, PhD; Linda Cameron, PhD; Howard Leventhal, PhD; V. Craig Jordan, PhD, DSc; Jan Feyzi, MS; David L. DeMets, PhD
▪ Objective: To determine the effects of tamoxifen on risk factors for cardiovascular disease in disease-free postmenopausal women.
▪ Design: Double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized 2-year clinical trial.
▪ Setting: University health sciences center.
▪ Patients: Clinically postmenopausal women (140) with a diagnosis of axillary node-negative breast cancer, who were disease-free by laboratory and clinical evaluations.
▪ Measurements: Levels of total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein A-I, apolipoprotein B, glucose, weight, blood pressure, and reported exercise and work activity were measured.
▪ Main Results: Postmenopausal women receiving tamoxifen were evaluated at 3- or 6-month intervals during a 2-year assessment period and showed a mean decrease of 12% in total cholesterol levels (at 24 months - 0.672 mmol/L; 95% Cl, - 0.839 to - 0.505 mmol/L) and a mean decrease of 20% in calculated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels (at 24 months, - 0.725 mmol/L; 95% Cl, - 0.868 to - 0.583 mmol/L) (P < 0.001). Women with greater baseline cholesterol levels had greater decreases with tamoxifen treatment. Levels of HDL cholesterol decreased in patients treated with tamoxifen, but this decrease was only statistically significant at one of five measurement times. Apolipoprotein A-I levels increased significantly at the two time points at which it was measured (P = 0.02), and apolipoprotein B levels decreased significantly at these times (P < 0.01) in patients treated with tamoxifen. Plasma glucose levels, reported exercise and work activity, reported smoking, weight, and systolic and diastolic blood pressures did not change with treatment.
▪ Conclusion: During 2 years of treatment, tamoxifen showed generally favorable effects on the lipid and lipoprotein profile of treated postmenopausal women. These effects may partially explain the decrease in adverse events and in mortality related to coronary heart disease seen in patients receiving adjuvant tamoxifen treatment.
Love RR, Wiebe DA, Newcomb PA, Cameron L, Leventhal H, Jordan VC, et al. Effects of Tamoxifen on Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Postmenopausal Women. Ann Intern Med. ;115:860–864. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-115-11-860
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1991;115(11):860-864.
Cardiology, Coronary Risk Factors, Prevention/Screening.
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