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Both raloxifene and estrogen reduce major cardiovascular risk factors in healthy postmenopausal women: A 2-year, placebo-controlled study

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Author: Valk-de Roo, G.W. de · Stehouwer, C.D.A. · Meijer, P. · Mijatovic, V. · Kluft, C. · Kenemans, P. · Cohen, F. · Watts, S. · Netelenbos, C.
Institution: Gaubius instituut TNO
Source:Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 12, 19, 2993-3000
Identifier: 235229
doi: doi:10.1161/01.ATV.19.12.2993
Keywords: Biology · Coagulation · Estrogen · Fibrinolysis · Lipids · Raloxifene · C reactive protein · Biological Markers · Blood Coagulation · Blood Pressure · C-Reactive Protein · Carbohydrate Metabolism · Coronary Disease · Double-Blind Method · Estrogen Antagonists · Estrogens · Female · Fibrinolysis · Hormone Replacement Therapy · Humans · Hysterectomy · Middle Aged · Placebos · Postmenopause · Raloxifene · Risk Factors


Currently raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, is being investigated as a potential alternative for postmenopausal hormone replacement to prevent osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. We compared the 2-year effects of raloxifene on a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors with those of placebo and conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs). Analyses were based on 56 hysterectomized but otherwise-healthy postmenopausal women aged 54.8±3.5 (mean±SD) years who entered this double- blind study and who were randomly assigned to raloxifene hydrochloride 60 mg/d (n = 15) or 150 mg/d (n= 13), placebo (n= 13), or CEEs 0.625 mg/d (n = 15). At baseline and after 6, 12, and 24 months of treatment, we assessed serum lipids, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, C-reactive protein, and various hemostatic parameters. Compared with placebo, both raloxifene and CEEs lowered the level of low density lipoprotein cholesterol by 0.53 to 0.79 mmol/L (all P<0.04) and lowered, at 24 months, the level of fibrinogen by 0.71 to 0.86 g/L (all P<0.05). The effects of raloxifene and CEEs did not differ significantly. In contrast to raloxifene, from 6 months on CEEs increased high density lipoprotein cholesterol by 0.25 to 0.29 mmol/L and reduced plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen by 30.6 to 48.6 ng/mL (all P<0.02 versus both placebo and raloxifene). CEEs transiently increased C- reactive protein by 1.0 mg/L at 6 months (P<0.05 versus placebo) and- prothrombin-derived fragment F1 +2 by 0.79 nmol/L at 12 months (P<0.001 versus placebo). Finally, from 12 months on, CEEs increased triglycerides by 0.33 to 0.56 mmol/L (all P<0.05 versus both placebo and raloxifene). Our findings suggest that in healthy postmenopausal women, raloxifene and estrogen monotherapy have similar beneficial effects on low density lipoprotein cholesterol and fibrinogen levels. These treatments differ, however, in their effects on high density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and possibly in their effects on prothrombin fragment F1+2 and C-reactive protein.