"There's not good data to suggest that it will prevent cardiovascular disease"
Talking with an author on the latest review of literature on HRT + your heart
With so much hype surrounding menopause hormone therapy today, it’s very hard to know what or who to believe.
There is a big push to portray HRT not only as helpful for menopause symptoms, but also as a preventative for cardiovascular disease. There are many practitioners and people out there speaking definitively on this in traditional media and on their social media channels, using specific studies to prove their point even as others are saying this is not the case.
And if cardiologists are having trouble looking at the available evidence and deciphering what is real and what is narrative in the continued wake of the Women’s Health Initiative findings in 2002 that prompted a wave of fear about HRT – and they are – then no wonder the rest of us don’t know what to think either.
Enter the most recent review of the current literature published in the American Heart Association’ journal Circulation this past Valentine’s Day. The team behind that paper – Rethinking Menopausal Hormone Therapy: For Whom, What, When, and How Long? – cited 96 papers, articles and studies. The authors included gynecologists, women’s health internists, endocrinologists, as well as Stephanie Faubion, medical director for the North American Menopause Society, all members of the American College of Cardiology Cardiolovascular Disease in Women Committee.
I leapt at this paper and asked one of its authors, Kathryn Lindley, an MD and clinical investigator in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, to break down these findings for me on the podcast this week.
Here is a sneak peek of our conversation, with an edited transcript for paid subscribers. I left this conversation more clear on what menopause is, and what role, from a heart perspective, HRT is still seen to play.
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