HRT may act preventively to reduce morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease in primary prevention. The development of SERMs adds a new, exciting, and promising therapeutic option to this field, as does the enhanced availability of soy phytoestrogen products. Although clinical trial data are incomplete, epidemiologic studies suggest that HRT raises HDL-C and triglyceride levels and lowers LDL-C levels. In addition, HRT lowers levels of Lp(a). These changes account for up to 50% of the cardiovascular risk reduction observed with HRT. In contrast, SERMs have less uniform effects. Both SERMs and phytoestrogens are less potent than HRT but have greater tissue selectivity. Although further study is needed, current information suggests that SERMs and phytoestrogens have significant potential to reduce CAD risk and may be a viable alternative to HRT for modest lowering of lipid levels. Phytoestrogens may be particularly useful for reducing CAD risk in men because they do not cause the side effects associated with estrogen. Additional clinical trials are necessary to determine whether the favorable lipid effects associated with HRT, SERMs, and phytoestrogens are linked to protection against cardiovascular disease. Nonetheless, physicians should consider the use of HRT, SERMs, and phytoestrogens for lowering lipid levels and reducing cardiovascular risk in women.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - 2002|
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