According to a new study, it shows that hormone replacement does not improve the outcome for postmenopausal women with existing heart problems. It has long been assumed that replacing female sex hormones after menopause will protect a woman from heart disease. For women have far lower rates of heart problems than men - until after menopause. But a new report from the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Follow Up Study (HERS II) suggests this is not the case.
The study involves 2,300 women with coronary heart disease and average age 60. They were assigned either estrogen plus progestin or placebo. After seven years of follow up there was no difference in the rate of heart attacks between the two groups. Moreover, those on hormone replacement were more likely to develop blood clotting problems or gall bladder disease. HERS II suggests that hormone replacement should not be prescribed to protect those with pre-existing heart disease from further problems - and it could even be harmfu.