Monday, September 12, 2011

Are Hormone treatments for postmenopausal women linked to heart disease?

Besides night sweats and hot flashes there are many issues that women face while going through menopause.

Scientists analyzed blood protein data from the Women's Health Institute cohorts and discovered two biomarkers associated with postmenopausal women and heart disease. They found beta-2 microglobulin were dramatically elevated in menopausal women with heart disease, and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 4 (IGFBP4) was significantly associated with stroke.

The research team analyzed 800 women who developed heart disease, 800 who developed a stroke, and two control groups. After studying the blood they found B2M and IGFBP4 have the potential to help clarify hormone therapy effects on heart disease.

Ross Prentice from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, Seattle Washington, was quoted as saying "Our finding of B2M elevation in plasma obtained months or years prior to CHD (coronary heart disease) diagnosis appears to be novel, however the identification of IGFBP4 as a risk marker for stroke in postmenopausal women also appears to be a novel finding."

The findings allow for scientists and doctors to more clearly understand diseases pathogenesis and what exposure to the biomarkers does to the body.

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