Postmenopausal women using menopausal hormone therapy for at least 3 years were not at increased risk for adverse, subclinical changes in cardiac structure or function compared with women never prescribed the therapy, study data show.
Steffen E. Petersen, MD, DPHIL, MPH, reader in cardiovascular imaging and center lead in the Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Centre funded through the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Unit in London, and colleagues evaluated data from the UK Biobank on 1,091 postmenopausal women who never used menopausal HT (mean age, 61.3 years; 92% white; mean age at menopause, 50.6 years) and 513 postmenopausal women who used menopausal HT for at least 3 years (mean age, 65.4 years; 93% white; mean age at menopause, 48.3 years; mean age when beginning HT, 47.6 years; median duration of HT, 8 years). Researchers sought to determine the effects of menopausal HT on left ventricular (LV) and left atrial (LA) structure and function.
Participants using menopausal HT compared with those who never used the therapy had smaller LV end-diastolic volume (117 mL vs. 124 mL; P < .0001), LV end-systolic volume (46 mL vs. 48 mL; P < .005), LV stroke volume (71 mL vs. 75 mL; P < .0001) and LA maximal volume (57 mL vs. 61 mL; P < .0001). LV mass did not significantly differ between the two groups.
After full adjustment, menopausal HT use compared with never use was associated with reductions in LV end-diastolic volume (123 mL vs. 120 mL; P = .013), LV stroke volume (74 mL vs. 72 mL; P = .004) and LA maximal volume (60 mL vs. 58 mL; P = .012).
“Use of [menopausal HT] is not associated with adverse, subclinical changes in cardiac structure and function,” the researchers wrote. “Indeed, we demonstrate significantly smaller LV and LA chamber volumes, which have been linked to favorable cardiovascular outcomes in other settings. Our findings provide a novel way to examine the impact of [menopausal HT] on the cardiovascular system.” – by Amber Cox
Disclosures: Petersen reports he receives support from the NIHR Cardiovascular Biomedical Research Centre at Barts and from the “SmartHeart” Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council program grant. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.