Health/Fitness

UNC researches estrogen and disease

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced in a news release Wednesday that its researchers have launched a new clinical trial to see if estrogen replacement therapy could help prevent depression and cardiovascular illness in women between the ages of 45 and 55.

Another study published in 2004 found a link between estrogen therapy and an increased risk of stroke and blood clots, but UNC says that study focused on older women.

"The Women’s Health Initiative study led to the mistaken belief that estrogen replacement therapy is bad for all women. And as a result, it has served to deprive some women of a treatment that might greatly and favorably impact their lives," explained Dr. David Rubinow - one of the investigators in the new UNC study.

"Much of the negative impact of estrogen that they found was related to the fact that most of the women in the Women’s Health Initiative study were far past the menopause and up to 79 years old," he continued.

Rubinow says other studies show hormone replacement for younger women significantly lowered coronary artery calcification compared to the women who didn’t take estrogen.

"There are now a large number of studies that demonstrate what has been called the timing hypothesis. That is, giving estrogen within a year or two of menopause has beneficial effects, but giving estrogen in women more than five years beyond the menopause can actually be harmful," he explained.

The 5-year UNC study is funded by a $4.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Women interested in participating should call (919) 966-8963.

More information is also available at http://uncmedne.ws/estradiol

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