JOURNAL ARTICLE

Hormone therapy and the risk of stroke after acute myocardial infarction in postmenopausal women

B G Angeja, M G Shlipak, A S Go, S C Johnston, P D Frederick, J G Canto, H V Barron, D Grady et al.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2001 November 1, 38 (5): 1297-301
11691498

OBJECTIVES: We examined the association of hormone therapy (HRT) with hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke among postmenopausal women with acute myocardial infarction (AMI).

BACKGROUND: Hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes are common complications of AMI, and women are at increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke after thrombolytic therapy. This risk may be related to female hormones.

METHODS: Using data from the National Registry of Myocardial Infarction-3, we studied 114,724 women age 55 years or older admitted to the hospital for AMI, of whom 7,353 reported HRT use on admission. We determined rates of in-hospital hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke stratified by HRT use and estimated the independent association of HRT with each stroke type using multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: The HRT users were younger than non-users, had fewer risk factors for stroke including diabetes and prior stroke, and received more pharmacologic and invasive therapy including cardiac catheterization. A total of 2,152 (1.9%) in-hospital strokes occurred, with 442 (0.4%) hemorrhagic, 1,017 (0.9%) ischemic and 693 (0.6%) unspecified. Among HRT users and non-users, the rates of hemorrhagic stroke (0.40% vs. 0.42%, p = 1.00) and ischemic stroke (0.80% vs. 0.96%, p = 0.11) were similar. Among 13,328 women who received thrombolytic therapy, the rate of hemorrhagic stroke was not significantly different for users and non-users (1.6% vs. 2.1%, p = 0.22). After adjustment for baseline and treatment differences, HRT was not associated with hemorrhagic (odds ratio [OR], 0.88; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.58 to 1.35) or ischemic stroke (OR, 0.89; CI, 0.66 to 1.18).

CONCLUSIONS: Acute myocardial infarction is a high-risk setting for stroke among postmenopausal women, but HRT does not appear to modify that risk. Clinicians should not alter their approach to thrombolytic therapy based on HRT use.

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