Finally, researchers assessed the risk of developing coronary artery calcium according to the number of women in each group who tested positive for it. Women in the low BMI group had an 8% risk, but women in the moderate and high BMI groups had a 17% and 14% risk, respectively
According Dr. Jayachandran, the upward trend in risk parameters among women in the moderate and high BMI groups should be taken seriously. "It indicates that there may be more risk for cardiovascular disease. Early menopause is a time to address life style changes that will reduce BMI and therefore, cardiovascular risk," he said.
He added that studies like KEEPS will be pivotal in clearing up the controversy surrounding menopausal hormone therapy and cardiovascular risk. Previous studies, such as the Women's Health Initiative and the Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study, did not show any cardiovascular benefit, but the demographics in those studies were different.
"Those studies examined women with a mean age of 62 years. They were further away from their menopause before starting treatment, and the hormones may not reduce existing atherosclerosis," Dr. Jayachandran said. "We want to know how the hormone treatments might work early on to prevent the development of cardiovascular disease."
|Contact: Donna Krupa|
American Physiological Society