The Effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy on Blood Pressure in Postmenopausal Women. Ann Intern Med. 2001;135:S31. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-135-4-200108210-00005
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2001;135(4):S31.
High blood pressure (hypertension) puts people at risk for such complications as heart attacks and strokes. High blood pressure becomes more common as people age; after menopause, it becomes even more common in women than it does in men of the same age. One theory is that the increase in blood pressure in women after menopause is related to the decrease in levels of estrogen and other hormones that occur during that phase of life. It is not known, however, whether treating women with estrogen and progestin (hormone replacement therapy, or HRT) is associated with changes in blood pressure after menopause.
To find out whether blood pressure increased less over time in postmenopausal women who took HRT than in women who did not take HRT.
The researchers studied 226 women who were already participating in a study called the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Seventy-seven women took both estrogen and progestin, and 149 used neither hormone. None of the women had high blood pressure at the start of the study.
At the beginning of the study and then every 2 years, the researchers collected information about the women's blood pressure and factors known to be associated with changes in blood pressure, including exercise, smoking, cholesterol levels, alcohol use, and body size. The study followed women for an average of 5 to 6 years (a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 18.5 years).
At the start of the study, blood pressure was similar in women who did and those who did not take HRT. Average systolic blood pressure (the first, and higher, number in blood pressure readings) increased less rapidly in women taking HRT than in women who did not take HRT. These differences were found even when the other factors that affect blood pressure were taken into account. Diastolic blood pressure (the second, lower number in blood pressure readings) did not change significantly in either group of women.
Women who take hormones tend to be generally healthier and more health conscious than those who choose not to take hormones. It is possible that some of the benefits in blood pressure in the women taking HRT were related to health factors, other than hormone use, that the researchers could not measure.
Postmenopausal women who take HRT have less of an increase in systolic blood pressure over time than those who do not take HRT.
The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.
Cardiology, Nephrology, Hypertension, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Abuse, Coronary Risk Factors.
Results provided by:
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only