menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)

MedWire News: Researchers have found further evidence to show that menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) increases the risk for high blood pressure (BP) in postmenopausal women.

The association between the MHT use and high BP diminished with increasing age, which shows that age is a significant predictor for the development of high BP, comment the authors in PLoS One .

Joanne Lind (University of Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) and team found that MHT use was associated with a 59% increased risk for high BP in women younger than 56 years of age, a 58% increased risk for those aged 56-61 years, and a 26% increased risk for those aged 62-70 years.

However, in women aged 71 years and older, there was no significant association between MHT use and high BP.

Moreover, there was no statistically significant difference in the odds for having high BP between past and current users of MHT in any age group.

The duration of MHT use was significantly associated with the risk for having high BP, with women who had used MHT for longer time periods having greater increases in risk.

Indeed, among women younger than 56 years who had used MHT for less than 2 years, the risk for high BP was increased 0.07%, whereas for those who had used it for more than 10 years, the risk was increased more than threefold.

The findings of the current study, conducted in 43,405 postmenopausal women, are in line with current US Food and Drug Administration recommendations that MHT should be limited to the shortest possible duration consistent with treatment goals.

However, previous studies have shown conflicting results, with some supporting the use of MHT in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, and some showing it to increase risk.”Women who require MHT should be closely monitored as they may represent a population of women with subclinical cardiovascular disease, and BP should be monitored after treatment ceases,” caution the authors.

“Furthermore, high BP should be conveyed as a health risk for people considering MHT use.”

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