New research on hormone supplements may have disappointing news for women at risk from heart disease. Millions of American women take some combination of estrogen, progesterone, or both to replace natural hormones that quit production after menopause. But a recent report finds the good effects of the drugs may have to be reconsidered if they hike the risk of heart attack. Iowa heart specialist Dr Saima Zafa says up till recently, heart disease was one of the factors doctors thought could be counteracted by giving replacement hormones to women past menopause.Women who have known heart disease shouldn’t get hormones, since they might increase the risk of blood clots, strokes and heart attacks. Doctors still prescribe replacement hormones to treat bone loss, hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, but the doctor says the latest study could make them reconsider that. She says if a woman taking hormones comes in with a heart attack, the doctor would probably cancel the hormone treatment unless the patient has other conditions that clearly call for it. Dr Zafar says doctors have already been reducing how often they prescribe hormones for women with heart problems.
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