According to the NIH, heart disease is the #1 killer of women. So, ladies, please read and share this with the sisterhood!
Women appear to reap cardiovascular benefits from hormone therapy when it is taken soon after menopause, according to results from the Early Versus Late Intervention Trial With Estradiol (ELITE), published March 31 in the New England Journal of Medicine. This was a double-blind randomized control trial. The study was carried out by researchers from Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and was funded by National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health.
The study found that women who took hormone therapy (HT) who were less than 6 years past menopause had a slow progression toward atherosclerosis (hardening and thickening of the arteries which can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks or strokes), but not when it was initiated 10 or more years after menopause.
Science Daily reports: “The ELITE results, in context with decades of studies on hormone therapy and vascular degeneration, provides strong evidence that the cardiovascular benefits of hormone therapy are dependent on timing of initiation,” said Howard N. Hodis, MD, director of the Atherosclerosis Research Unit and professor of medicine and preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine and principle investigator of the study. “The stratification of participants into early and late postmenopause was a unique feature of ELITE. We believe that applying this design to further examination of heart disease prevention could ultimately prove immensely fruitful for women’s health.”
“ELITE provides proof of concept and first direct evidence from human investigation that timing of hormone therapy is imperative for success in the prevention of atherosclerosis progression, the primary underlying pathway that leads to heart disease and stroke,” Hodis added. “The concept of timing of initiation of an intervention is likely applicable to most preventive approaches to cardiovascular disease in women.”
“Building from these data, the ELITE researchers intend to investigate why hormone therapy is more effective in the earlier stages of postmenopause and whether or not non-hormonal therapies provide the same effect. In doing so, they hope to contribute to the development of more effective, precise and target-driven therapies to prevent heart disease in women.”