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Effects of estradiol alone and combined with norethisterone acetate on pulse-wave velocity in hypertensive postmenopausal women.

Author(s): Arruda CG, Aldrighi JM, Bortolotto LA, Alecrin IN, Ramires JA

Affiliation(s): Women's Health Clinic, Public Health School and Heart Institute (InCor), University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Sao Paulo, Brazil. ccag@uol.com.br

Publication date & source: 2006-10, Gynecol Endocrinol., 22(10):557-63.

BACKGROUND: Arterial hypertension and postmenopausal reduction of estrogen levels may be involved in modifications of the stiffness of large arteries. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the pulse-wave velocity (PWV) and indirectly the arterial stiffness in hypertensive postmenopausal women submitted to hormone therapy with estradiol alone or combined with norethisterone acetate. SUBJECTS: Forty-five hypertensive postmenopausal women were double-blindly, randomly assigned to three arms of treatment: placebo (group I); estradiol 2 mg/day (group II); or estradiol 2 mg/day and norethisterone acetate 1 mg/day (group III). METHODS: Arterial stiffness was assessed from PWV measurements of the common carotid and femoral arteries (CF-PWV) and the common carotid and radial arteries (CR-PWV) obtained using the automatic Complior(R) device, taken at baseline and after 12 weeks of treatment. RESULTS: After the 12-week treatment, values of CF-PWV and CR-PWV were not significantly different (p = 0.910 and p = 0.736, respectively) among the groups. Systolic blood pressure showed a positive correlation with CF-PWV in groups II and III (p = 0.02 and p < 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: PWV and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal hypertensive women did not reduce over a 12-week treatment with estradiol alone compared with the same period of treatment with estradiol combined with norethisterone acetate.

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