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Hormone Replacement Therapy Can Reduce Heart attacks On Woman Under 60

A new study that analyses many trials together concludes that HRT can reduce heart attacks by about one-third in women under age 60 but has mixed results for older women. // In other words the study concludes that Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may prevent heart attacks in women under 60. The statistical analysis of 23 trials with more than 39,000 women was done by researchers from Cornell and Stanford universities, is published in the April issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. They found that when women started HRT (estrogens with or without progesterone) in their 50s to relieve menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, their risk of heart attacks or cardiac death fell by 32 percent compared with those receiving a placebo or no treatment. They also found that for women over the age of 60, HRT increased the risk of heart attacks in the first year of treatment, but after two years of treatment HRT began to reduce heart attacks compared with women taking a placebo or no treatment.

The study followed up on similar studies done in 2004 conducted by the same researchers that probed overall deaths related to age and HRT. That study found 39 percent fewer deaths among women who began HRT before 60, compared with women of the same age given a placebo or no treatment.

In the earlier study they did not have enough data to evaluate cardiac death, but only total death explained astrophysicist Edwin Salpeter, the J.G. White Distinguished Professor of Physical Sciences Emeritus at Cornell, who has more recently focused his attention on medical statistics and led the statistical analysis in the study.

Salpeter said, that various reports on the risks and benefits of HRT have generated confusion for women. Explaining that one of the reasons for the confusion was because the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) which is a long-term national health study focused on strategies for preventing heart disease, breast and colorectal cancer,
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