Effects of estrogen therapy on postmenopausal lipid levels - Tips from Other Journals

Date: Nov, 1990

Effects of Estrogen Therapy on Postmenopausal Lipid Levels Heart disease is the cause of death in more than 36 percent of menopausal and postmenopausal women. Several studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy substantially reduces (up to 70 percent) the risk of coronary disease in postmenopausal women. Changes in serum lipid levels have been identified as the cause of this protective effect. Normally, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels fall or remain stable following menopause, while total cholesterol, truglyceride and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels rise.

In a double-blind placebo-controlled study, Notelovitz and colleagues examined the effects of unopposed estrone sulfate therapy on lipid profiles in 153 healthy postmenopausal women with baseline total cholesterol levels exceeding 219 mg per dL (5.65 mmol per L).

In all of the patients, menopause was verified by the absence of menstruation and postmenopausal levels of follicle-stimulating hormone. Patients were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatment regimens: 0.625 mg of estrone sulfate, 1.25 mg of estrone sulfate or placebo. Effects on lipid profiles were assessed at six, nine and 12 months.

Compared with lipid levels in the placebo group, no significant changes were noted in women receiving 0.625 mg of estrone sulfate. The group receiving 1.25 mg of estrone sulfate, however, showed significant decreases in the LDL level and total cholesterol/HDL rationincreases in the HDL level and the HDL/LDL ratio. These effects persited for 12 months.

Estrone sulfate, in a daily dosage of 1.25 mg, appears to have a beneficial effect on serum lipid levels. This effect is evident after six months of therapy and persists for at least 12 months of therapy. The results suggest that estrogen replacement is effective in creating more favorable lipid profiles in postmenopausal women with elevated cholesterol levels. (Obstetrics and Gynecology, July 1990, vol. 76, p. 65.)

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