Hormone replacement patches found to decrease heart disease risk
Hormone replacement patches were found to decrease risk for heart disease upto 40%. Women tend to have a lower risk for heart disease. But all that changes after menopause. Estrogen – the hormone responsible for the feminine characters – also helps to decrease the heart disease risk in women. But after menopause, when the estrogen production decreases dramatically, the risk for having a heart attack also rises. This change in hormone production is also responsible for what is known as post menopausal syndrome, which includes hot flashes, head ache, stomach upset, fatigue and anxiety.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is a system of supplementing the hormones so as to alleviate the symptoms experienced by post menopausal women. The various methods of hormone supplementation include estrogen pills, estrogen and progesterone pills, patches, vaginal gels etc. Earlier research (The Women’s Health Initiative Study conducted in the US on nearly 20,000 post menopausal women.) suggested that long term use of HRT (more than 4 years) significantly increased the risk for breast cancer and heart disease.
But a new study published in the European Heart Journal conducted on 700,000 Danish women over 50 suggests that hormone patches and gels are safer than the hormone pills that are mostly in use in America. It was found that while women who took estrogen plus progesterone pills had increased risk of heart attacks by upto 35%, those who used hormone patches and vaginal gels had nearly 40% lower risk of heart disease. Thus HRT patches and gels provide a safer alternative for combating the symptoms of post menstrual syndrome.