Researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch have published findings that could help providers better evaluate the risks of venous thromboembolisms for post-menopausal women on estrogen therapy.
The study, published in JAMA Network Open
, builds on recently published findings from the same researchers that the risk for venous thromboembolisms may depend on the type of estrogen therapy and route of exposure.
Now, this new study finds that statin therapy may reduce venous thromboembolisms risk in women taking hormones.
Venous thromboembolisms are life-threatening clots that form in the arms and legs that can travel to the lungs.
“Since the Women’s Health Initiative results appeared two decades ago and found that estrogen therapy in post-menopausal women caused venous thromboembolisms many physicians have been reluctant to prescribe hormone therapy,” said Dr. Susan Weller, professor at the School of Public and Population Health at UTMB and one of the authors of the study. “These results give us a more nuanced picture.”
This latest information relates to the use of statins to reduce the risk of venous thromboembolisms for women taking estrogen therapy. Their previous research found that transdermal estrogen therapy, including estradiol patches, was not associated with increased risk. Oral contraceptives, on the other hand, carried a much higher risk than menopausal therapies.
Women aged 50 to 64 taking any kind of hormone had a reduced risk for venous thromboembolisms if they were also taking statins, according to the study. Higher intensity statin therapy reduced the risk even more.
“Women suffering from menopausal symptoms may not be prescribed hormones because of clotting risks,” Weller said. “So, it was important to find that there might be safer hormonal options and that women taking hormone therapy with statin therapy may have a further reduction in risk of clotting.”
Other contributing authors include Dr. Laura Porterfield, Dr. Gregg Wilkinson, Lu Chen and lead author John Davis.