FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin

Analysis Finds Lower Heart Risk With Hormone Therapy for Women in Their 50s

April 13, 2007

A new analysis of previously conducted studies showed no increase in coronary heart disease for women in their 50s who take hormone therapies close the start of menopause, according to an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

However, two types of hormone therapies did increase the risk of strokes and breast cancer for women regardless of age, the article said. The findings emphasize that women must consider their individual health factors before taking hormone therapies, Wyeth's Senior Vice President of Global Medical Affairs Joseph Camardo said.

The secondary analysis included data from two studies of more than 27,000 women. The patients who had had hysterectomies took Wyeth's Premarin, an estrogen drug, and those who had not took Wyeth's Prempro, an estrogen and progesterone combination. The Women's Health Initiative published the original studies in 2002.

Women who started hormone therapy closer to menopause had a reduced risk of cardiovascular heart disease, but this was not statistically significant, the article said. There was also a nonsignificant trend showing an increase in cardiovascular disease risk for women taking the drugs in their 60s and 70s.

The new analysis did show, however, that there was not an increased risk of heart disease for women taking hormones close to menopause.

The study analysis appeared in the April 4 issue of JAMA.