A new study has linked high doses of hormone replacement therapy to increased risk for stroke. The study, which appeared in the April 28th edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine, was conducted by Francine Grodstein and colleagues at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, as well as Harvard Medical School.
Researchers used data from 121,700 female nurses participating in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1976 and 2004. They found women taking estrogen were 39 percent more likely to have a stroke than women who did not take the hormones. Women taking an estrogen-progestin combination to protect against ovarian cancer had a 27 percent increased risk of stroke, reports Reuters. Higher increases in risk for stroke were associated with higher doses. “We found a strong relationship between dose of oral conjugated estrogen and stroke, with RRs of 0.93, 1.54, and 1.62 for doses of 0.3, 0.625, and 1.25 mg, respectively,” wrote researchers.
“The key point is the risk of stroke with hormone therapy in recently menopausal women can be minimized by limiting the duration of treatment and using lower doses. That’s the really key finding,” Dr. JoAnn Manson of Harvard Medical School, who worked on the study, told Reuters.