JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

The effect of various menopausal hormone therapies on markers of inflammation, coagulation, fibrinolysis, lipids, and lipoproteins in healthy postmenopausal women

Branka Zegura, Barbara Guzic-Salobir, Miran Sebestjen, Irena Keber
Menopause: the Journal of the North American Menopause Society 2006, 13 (4): 643-50
16837886

OBJECTIVE: Androgenic progestins such as norethisterone acetate (NETA) may influence the effect of estradiol (E(2)) therapy. We compared the influence of oral E(2), with and without NETA, and transdermal E(2) on markers of coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammation and on lipids and lipoproteins in healthy postmenopausal women.

DESIGN: A total of 112 healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to receive treatment with either oral E(2), with or without NETA, transdermal E(2), or placebo. At baseline and after 28 weeks, levels of serum lipids and lipoproteins and markers of coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammation were determined.

RESULTS: Of the fibrinolytic parameters, oral E(2) (P < 0.05) and E(2) with NETA (P < 0.01) shortened euglobulin clot lysis time. Oral E(2) decreased plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity (P < 0.05). Oral E(2) with NETA reduced plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen levels (P < 0.01) and increased D-dimer antigen levels (P < 0.001). All three modes of menopausal hormone therapy reduced tissue type plasminogen activator antigen. Of the coagulation parameters, both routes of E(2) therapy decreased fibrinogen levels (P = 0.002 for oral and P = 0.007 for transdermal E(2)), whereas E(2) with NETA showed no effect. The decrease of fibrinogen was larger after oral E(2) (P = 0.02). Oral E(2) with NETA reduced antithrombin III (P < 0.001) and protein C (P < 0.001) activity. Oral E(2) (P = 0.04) and E(2) with NETA (P < 0.01) increased C-reactive protein (CRP). Transdermal E(2) showed no influence on CRP. The addition of NETA influenced the change in CRP, as the increase in CRP was more pronounced after E(2) without NETA (P = 0.005). The levels of serum amyloid A, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha did not change significantly after any of the modes of hormone therapy. Of the lipids and lipoproteins, oral E2 decreased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.01), lipoprotein (a) (P < 0.05), and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.05). Transdermal E(2) decreased triglycerides (P < 0.02) and increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.03). Oral E(2) with NETA decreased total cholesterol (P < 0.01) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS: Oral E(2), with or without NETA, produced no net activation of coagulation but improved fibrinolysis. Both modes of oral menopausal hormone therapy have a greater impact on markers of inflammation, coagulation, fibrinolysis, lipids, and lipoproteins than transdermal E(2). NETA attenuates some E(2) effects. Further studies are needed to elucidate the impact of these effects on clinical endpoints.

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