Does hormone replacement therapy (hrt) increase a woman's risk for heart disease or not?

Yes and no. It reduces the risk of developing plaque which reduces long term risk. However, it increases the risk of forming clots, especially in smokers, which is the final step leading to stroke or heart attack.

Related Questions

What's my risk of heart disease after a hysterectomy? My doctor recommended a hysterectomy and hormone replacement therapy, but I've read it can increase my risk of heart disease. I already have some risk factors. Does a hysterectomy make my chances of de

Hello.. Hello. If you ovaries are not removed; it won't change your risk for heart disease. However if both your ovaries and uterus are removed (which it looks like is the case for you since your doctor is recommending hormone replacement therapy) that can increase risk. With a total hysterectomy your estogen levels will drop. Estrogen helps to protect against heart disease. You develop a "surgical menopause" and this can lead to increasing sustances in your blood that cause clotting as well as making your blood vessels more susceptible to plaques or clots forming.
Heart disease. The risk of heart disease increases after a hysterectomy due to the decline in estrogen that has protective actions toward heart disease. I would look into bio-identical hormone replacement.

What's hormone replacement therapy (hrt) in 2012?

Various. For women, HRT boils down to the synthetic estrogen replacements available through the pharmaceutical industry and versus compounded hormones versus all natural treatments such as black cohosh, estroven, and herbal treatments. Research them all and make an informed choice that is comfortable for you. Of course, no treatment at all is always an option.
SAFE for most women. Hrt (and its reputation and safety) constantly changes as new studies come out. Here is the best 2012 review: in patients with no increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease, or blood clots, trans-dermal hrt (patch, cream, gel) is relatively safe, and safe for just a few years, but as few as necessary. An even better review: talk to your own doctor.
NAMS position stmt. Please read the north american menopause society's position statement for 2012. It considerably tones down restrictive language used in the wake of the whi of 2002. Interestingly some studies have shown (in women with hysterectomies) improved survival in women who got hrt (estrogen alone) even in the whi, women who got hrt had less diabetes. It os not right for everyone, but for many, it is.

Stopped hormone replacement therapy and now have symptoms including insomnia. Dr prescribed ativan (lorazepam) for sleep. Which is safer, ativan (lorazepam) or hrt?

Depends. It depends on many factors: how long you have been in menopause, your personal and family history of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease...It also depends on the severity of symptoms. Only you and your doctor who knows your history can answer this best.
Hrt. The best treatment for insomnia is to find its cause, often hormonal imbalances and deficiencies may play a significant role and hrt may contribute to eliminating or improving the sleep disorder. Ativan (lorazepam) simply relieves anxiety, which is not dealing with the root of the insomnia. It may be associated with dependence and side effects, such as hangover, memory loss, etc.

Still confused about estrogen, hormone replacement therapy and cardiovascular disease?

Complex issues. Female hormones increase thromboembolism, deep venous thrombosis--progesteron is blamed, more than estrogen--because at menopause, there is changes in blood coagulation? Increase weight, arteriosclerosis, metabolic syndrome all of this increase risk of cardiovascular disease-- estrogen can be given at low dose for brief periods.
Not good. Based on the randomized controlled trial - women's health initiative - hormone therapy is not protective for cardiovascular disease and my even cause strokes, along with blood clots, etc. Bottom line: not recommended for cardiac prevention. If you are young and early postmenopausal with symptoms and have no cardiac disease, short course (1-2 years) may be ok. Talk to your doctor before starting it.
Start early. From the hers study based on long term study of nurses in the uk, early use of hrt is cardioprotective. If, like the whi study, hrt is started at the average age of 61, there is an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack etc.

Whats the latest on hormone replacement therapy and cardiovascular disease?

Not reccomended. The risk of hormone therapy does not outweigh risks as it relates to heart disease.
Necessary! Optimal and balanced hormones have been preven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.
In women. When I was on the faculty of a medical school, I used to teach that women that did not take hormone replacement had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease than men at the same age. I think it needs to be started early and continued for the cardiovascular protective effect. Just my opinion. Many will disagree with me. But this statement is based on the hers study going on for many years.