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Women's Heart Program Heart Healthy Strategies

The Role of Hormone Replacement Therapy
During menopause, women stop producing the sex hormone estrogen, which offers some protection against heart disease. In recent years, doctors used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to restore estrogen to premenopausal levels and to reduce a woman’s risk for CVD. But because of recent clinical trials, the American Heart Association recommends that HRT should NOT be used to prevent a second heart attack to reduce a woman’s risk for CVD. Studies indicate that HRT may actually increase the risk for heart attack in some women.

Some women may increase their risk for developing breast cancer if they continue the therapy for a longer period. Other risks in some women include uterine hyperplasia (abnormal cell growths in the lining of the uterus), as well as endometrial (uterine) cancer. Some women may experience migraines and other headaches more often.