Estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) in women after menopause is associated with prevention of clinical coronary artery disease. However, few studies have investigated possible benefits from ERT in postmenopausal women undergoing treatment for established coronary disease. We therefore retrospectively reviewed the clinical outcomes of 428 postmenopausal women undergoing percutanious transluminal coronary balloon angioplasty (PTCA) to test the hypothesis that ERT has a beneficial effect in this setting. The women were divided into 2 groups based on ERT status at the time of the procedure. Estrogen users were younger (60 ± 10 vs 68 ± 9 years, p <0.001), more commonly had family histories of coronary heart disease (54% vs 41%, p = 0.04), had less incidence of hypertension (63% vs 76%, p = 0.02), and had slightly fewer diseased vessels per patient (1.3 ± 0.5 vs 1.5 ± 0.7, p = 0.03) compared with nonusers. No in-hospital deaths occurred in estrogen users compared with 5% hospital mortality in nonusers (p = 0.01). The combined outcome of death or myocardial infarction (MI) also was lower in estrogen users (4% vs 12%, p = 0.04). Of 348 women discharged after successful PTCA, 336 (97%) were able to be contacted at an average follow-up interval of 22 ± 17 months (range 5 to 82). Estrogen users had superior event-free survival bath for death as well as for death or nonfatal MI. Repeat revascularizations were similar in both groups (32% vs 24%, p = 0.15). In a Cox proportional-hazards model, nonusers had 4 times the likelihood of death after angioplasty compared with estrogen users (OR 4.025, 95% CI = 1.3 to 13.4, p = 0.02). We conclude that estrogen replacement may offer protection against clinical coronary events in postmenopausal women who already have established coronary disease and are undergoing balloon angioplasty. The benefit was independent of age, smoking, presence of diabetes mellitus, or the number of diseased coronary vessels. However, it did not include a reduction in repeat revascularization procedures, suggesting no reduction in restenosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine