In a study reported in Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that Estrogen replacement therapy could be considered a safer profile for the heart when delivered through a patch rather than a pill. Interestingly, "the Women's Health Initiative", the largest study of its kind, was cut short last year (2002) because it was found that Hormone Replacement Therapy (a combination of estrogen and progestin) increased the risk of heart attacks and other problems when taken in the long term. It is usually the Postmenopausal women who take hormone replacement therapy through a pill to improve their general well being and prevent osteoporosis (loss of Bone).
However the researchers looked at different modes of estrogen administration because oral medication has been shown to increase the levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation that is linked to heart attack and risk of stroke. It is possible that Once ingested orally the pill contents pass by blood circulation to the liver first, where the C-reactive protein is produced and it pushes up its content. This problem is less with dermal patches, moreover the oral estrogen has to be given in higher dose than transdermally. Researchers found that the levels of C-reactive protein in blood was unchanged when women took a placebo or used the estrogen patch, but rose when they took estrogen in the pill form.