Endocrinol Metab > Volume 21(1); 2006 > Article
Journal of Korean Endocrine Society 2006;21(1):14-21.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3803/jkes.2006.21.1.14    Published online February 1, 2006.
The Effect of Hormone Replacement Therapy on Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Healthy Postmenopausal Women.
Jang Yel Shin, Bong Soo Cha, Choon Hee Chung, Won Heum Shim, Hyun Chul Lee
1Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in postmenopausal women. The use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preventing for cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women remains controversial. We investigated the effect of HRT on carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) according to the HRT duration in healthy postmenopausal women. METHODS: One hundred and twenty postmenopausal women (mean age: 55.4 +/- 3.3 years) were classified into never users, short-term, and long-term users according to the HRT duration. Carotid IMT was measured, and the clinical and biochemical cardiovascular risk factors were examined. RESULTS: The mean IMT was significantly thinner in the long-term users than that in the never users (0.62 +/- 0.11 vs. 0.71 +/- 0.14 mm, P < 0.01). Also, the maximal IMT was significantly thinner in the short-term and the long-term users. However, there is no significant difference in the mean and maximal IMTs between the estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestins used group. The period exposed to menopause was significantly shorter in the long-term users than that in the never users (1.8 +/- 2.3 vs. 4.3 +/- 3.3 years, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that if HRT is initiated during early postmenopausal period before the onset of atherosclerosis, HRT may have a beneficial effect on the prevention of carotid atherosclerosis.
Key Words: Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease, Hormone replacement therapy, Intima media thickness, Postmenopause

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